Tag Archives 1940s fashion

Off Broadway – Vintage Shop of the week


After an overwhelming response to my article highlighting the best vintage shops on Etsy (which you can read here), I decided to broaden my investigations by venturing out onto the internet, leaving no link left unchecked during my travels, looking for the most interesting vintage shops across the world. I intend to share my discoveries with all of my sophisticated, vintage-loving readers, featuring one vintage shop per week and through a Q&A, you will be able to find out the history of the shop, what vintage treasures they specialise in, as well as pick up a few tips on how to shop for vintage clothes. So, without any further ado, I would like to start the weekly vintage shop feature with Off Broadway!

Off Broadway


3110 Central SE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87105

505-268-1489; offbroadway66@gmail.com



1920s paisley dress

1920s paisley dress.


1950s Adele Simpson dress.

1950s Adele Simpson dress.

Dominique de Merteuil:  How did you start your adventure in selling vintage clothes?

Off Broadway:

My childhood summers were spent at our family farm in a late 1800s turreted farm house. The third-floor attic was filled with trunks of Victorian clothing and other wonderful mysteries.  In the 50s and 60s my mother took me shopping for school clothes in upscale department stores and boutiques, teaching me about fashion and quality.  In high school in the late 60s I started dressing in my mother’s 1950’s dresses.  This bohemian style of dressing served me well as I majored in Fine Arts in college and ended with a Masters in Painting. I even used vintage fabrics and novelty motifs in my paintings.

I started wholesaling a little vintage while I taught art at the university, and finally decided I would rather work for myself.  I opened a small shop in 1984, the year my daughter Grace was born.  Grace grew up wearing vintage and today has incredible style in her mix of vintage and current fashion, plus the best closet in town!  She has an MBA, is a skilled photographer, and was the driving force behind opening our Etsy shop.  Over the past 33 years my little shop has expanded into a successful business in Albuquerque, but Etsy has propelled us globally. Grace and my partnership is the best part.

DDM: What can we find in your vintage shop? For example, do you specialise in a particular era or type of garment, accessory, etc?

Off Broadway:

Our Etsy shop has vintage clothing and accessories from the Victorian era through the eighties. We are particularly passionate about beautiful dresses!

Edwardian gown

Stunning Edwardian cream silk gown that can be purchased via Off Broadway Etsy store.

60s Ceil Chapman dress

Vintage 1960s Ceil Chapman mint green cocktail dress, that can be purchased via Off Broadway Etsy shop, which you will be directed to by clicking on the image.

1930s hooded gown

1930s silk crepe gown with matching hooded jacket. You can purchase the beautiful dress on Off Broadway Etsy shop by clicking on the image.

1920s ivory wedding gown

Stunning 1920s bias cut silk satin wedding dress.











DDM: Is there a process you go through when selecting garments for your shop? Perhaps you have a list or a criteria, that you use when deciding which garments will be perfect for your shop and your clients?

Off Broadway:

When someone enters my store with an armful of clothes I can usually tell in a glance from across the room if I am interested.  It’s all about the fabric.  Fabric tells me its’ era and style and quality.  I don’t buy clothes that are “tired” or have difficult condition issues.  I want happy clothes with a good pedigree that will inspire my customers.

DDM: Where do you find all those beautiful vintage clothes and accessories for your shop? (if it’s not a secret!)

Off Broadway:

One advantage of being in business as long as I have with a physical shop and a good reputation is that the clothes all come to me.  The disadvantage is I have no time to hunt!

DDM: What is your favourite period in time and why?

Off Broadway:

I love the fresh modernism of the late 50s and early 60s fashion when the United States was in such a hopeful exciting period in history and it was reflected in design.  I lived in Washington DC during the Kennedy administration when my father worked there for the government.  Incredible times!  Then again, the beauty of clothing from the 20s and 30s can make me cry.

DDM: What message/advise do you have for women who have never bought vintage clothes before? For example: what are the key pieces to start building a vintage look? What to keep in mind when making a purchase?

Off Broadway:

Nothing speaks to a woman like a gorgeous dress.  If that is too overwhelming a start for a vintage novice I suggest a great jacket.  The philosophy at Off Broadway has always been that vintage is current and modern and should be mixed with your contemporary pieces for a fashion forward look.  We can easily put you in one era head-to-toe, but that verges on costume.  We stay abreast of current designers to help our customers stay relevant.

1930s floral satin and taffeta gown

Gorgeous 1930s floral satin and taffeta gown, that can be purchased via Off Broadway Etsy page by clicking on the image.

1950s floral Ceil Chapman dress

Summer must-have 1950s floral Ceil Chapman dress.

1950s Peggy Hunt dress

1950s Peggy Hunt dress.

DDM: What are your 3 favourite items that you have ever sold and why have you chosen to name those particular ones? 

Off Broadway:

It’s not just the fabulous clothes that I’ve sold over the years – it’s connecting with amazing people and providing them with pieces that inspire and enhance their lives.  When I sell a wedding dress it becomes a celebration for us as well as the bride.  This past summer an entire family was outfitted from my shop for a very special farm wedding.  I have sold many red-carpet dresses to actresses.   My favourite was a yellow 30s gown for an actresses’ wedding. Such vicarious living!  I recently sold a sweet John Meyer of Norwich suit to the designer’s daughter.  She is amassing a collection of his work for a museum and we had a great correspondence. The designer Marc Jacobs bought a 40s ballerina print dress from me and used it throughout his famous Fall 2016 Ready to Wear show.  That was a thrill. One of my favourite Etsy customers bought my all-time favourite Tina Leser ochre silk dress and coat.  Because of Etsy I connected with an incredible artist – the photographer Suzanne Heintz.  Her work uses vintage clothes in a socially biting and hilarious vignettes.  Check her out! I have hoarded and held back favourite pieces from my shop but recently released a stunning 30s blue silk gown with extravagant  winged sequined sleeves and off it went to be on television.  My stories are not unique among vintage sellers.  It is why we do it with such passion.  And pleasure!

Vintage dress

Stunning Chrysanthemum dress!


Tina Leser vintage dress and coat

Tina Leser ochre silk dress and coat.

1930s blue satin dress with sequined sleeves.

1930s blue satin dress with sequined sleeves.


Vintage dress

Beautiful 1940s ballerina print dress bought by Mark Jacobs, who was so inspired by it, that he used the print in his 2016 collection.


In the picture on the left the original1940s dress with ballerina print. In the picture on the right Marc Jacobs dress from his 2016 collection.

DDM: What are your favourite vintage brands and are they very difficult to find?

Off Broadway:

I have a magnificent Fontana that I am currently sheltering.  An early Jean Patou.  A Pauline Trigere 1940s studded jumpsuit.  A big Lilly Ann suit.  I’m just not ready… and I’m sure most vintage dealers share this affliction!

DDM: What’s in your wardrobe? Do you personally wear vintage clothes on a daily basis?

Off Broadway:

Both Grace and I wear some form of vintage almost every day.  I have a closet full of 40s housedresses, lots of men’s shirts and ties, Chinese jackets, fiesta skirts, and Edwardian pieces.  I never go a day without vintage with my 50s aluminum glasses.  Grace has stunning rayon 40s dresses, 50s party dresses and is lately into wearing 60s.  Today she went off to work in a 60s B&W dress with matching coat in an homage to Mary Tyler Moore.

Best vintage shops on Etsy


Best Vintage Shops On Etsy

I don’t mean to sound platitudinous but shopping for vintage clothes is not an easy affair. Looking for that perfect Lilli Ann suit, a 1930s velvet gown that will be just the right size and colour or, a Victorian funeral cape in mint condition. All can be quite a challenge, especially now that I don’t have easy access to my beloved vintage fairs in London which were my main source of vintage treasure hunting (you can read about the best vintage places to shop for in London). Since the big move however, my relocation from London to Warsaw, it was Etsy that came to the rescue!

I was a devoted observer, browsing though Etsy’s vintage shops for about a year before I signed up as a buyer. It became almost an obsession to find and save my dream dresses, suits, coats and hats to a shopping wish list. That’s the beauty of Etsy, you can easily save favourite shops and items to folders you create for yourself. So for example, I have one that’s only for Victorian capes, another for 1940s suits and the list goes on. I’m basically creating my dream wardrobe but not being a particularly practical person, I tend to go for pieces that are of a museum quality, a real work of art if you like, clothes that I would make very little use of and that’s why the folders on Etsy help me to compare and decide what is it I really need at a particular time in my life, what is it I almost can’t live without and what’s more of a fantasy that will spend 99% of its lifetime hanging on a mannequin.

If you are as passionate about vintage clothes from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s with Victorian items thrown into the mix, you will love my list of best vintage shops on Etsy! The reason behind my choice of the 36 vintage shops you will find here on my list is very simple, every single time I look for specific garments from my favourite periods in time, I always end-up finding the most ravishing, original, vintage clothes in those shops. I’ve also discovered what an incredible community it really is, we are all so passionate about wearing history, supporting the slow fashion and be it by accident or with full consciousness, we also become eco-friendly, reusing existing clothes, mending them, turning into a new designs, rather than buying cheap mass produced clothes, that will probably end-up in the bin within a month of it’s purchase. As I always say, quality before quantity! Focusing on finding your style rather than getting completely lost in the new trends that become old trends before you even get to wear your new dress. That’s where vintage fashion can help you creating a very original and unique look. I know, that there are many people in the vintage community who drawn upon mixing the old with the new or not being historically accurate with how clothes form one era are being paired with accessories from another, but there are also people like yours truly, who’s style is of mixing vintage clothes with current luxury brands, who are influenced by the past. I will never give-up on buying Wheels & Dollbaby or Vivienne Westwood because they compliment the true vintage in a unique way. Whatever category you fit with, the vintage shops on my list will help you complete your wardrobe or even build it from a scratch! 

Thank you very much to everyone on the list for allowing me to use your beautiful pictures and I hope that this article will be a lot of help to all of you vintage shoppers!

If there are wonderful vintage shops on Etsy that I haven’t put on the list please do add the name of the shop to the comments so that my readers and I may discover them.

The Mood- board

If I was to describe my look and style it would be a mix of  my Holly(wood) Trinity: Joan Crawford, Rita Hayworth and Marlene Dietrich with a dash of Morticia Addams.

I present you with a visual/mood-board of what I’m looking for when I browse through vintage shops on Etsy!

Old Hollywood Movie stars

My mood- board, style inspiration. Joan Crawford, Rita Hayworth, Marlene Dietrich, lots of glamour, drama and of course Lilli Ann!


Best vintage shops on Etsy

1) Archetype Vintage

Shipping Worldwide!

Rhode Island, United States

Over 1700 sales

Hand-picked selection of vintage clothes and accessories such as gloves, bags and hats. Lots of beautiful 1950s dresses not just for the “Stepford Wives.”

1950s fashion. Best vintage shops on Etsy.

Vintage 1950s Alex Coleman cashmere sweater and skirt set. Very Glenn Close in The Stepford Wives!

1940s suit. Best vintage shops on Etsy.

1940s red wool suit with black glass beaded stars and very dramatic structured shoulders, that I can imagine being a part of Joan Crawford’s wardrobe and mine of course. 1950s black patent Koret bag and a stunning 1940s black woven cellophane hat.


2.  Big City Small Town Vintage 

Shipping Worldwide!

Ohio, United States

363 sales

Great selection of fabulous vintage suits and dresses!

1940s dress. Best vintage shops on Etsy.

A simply divine 1940s vintage purple taffeta dress with matching belt and blazer.

1950s suit

Beautiful 1950s grey wool suit with decorative buttons by Don Loper.

3. Bride Of The Fox

Shipping Worldwide!

Virginia, United States

Over 190 sales

Breathtaking collection of rare, vintage garments, some of such historical value that they should be displayed in a museum or better still, my wardrobe!


Charles James Coat. Best vintage shops on Etsy.

Jaw-dropping, rare 1950s coat by Charles James. One of those museum pieces that I’ve mentioned.

Norman Norell 1950s dress. Best vintage shops on Etsy.

Early 1950s Norman Norell dress in shocking pink.

4. Butch Wax Vintage 

Please note that Amanda sells mainly via her Instagram page which you can find here!

Shipping Worldwide

California, United States

Over 2400 sales

The always glamorous Amanda  Suter has years of experience in selling vintage clothes, most are from her personal collection. I’m stalking her Instagram page on a daily basis and putting a lot of the 1950s suits and coats onto my wishlist. She has a real talent for finding the most incredible Lilli Ann suits but you have to be really fast in making a purchase as they’re gone in 60 seconds. Below a selection of my favourite vintage suits and dresses from Butch Wax Vintage.

1950s suit and 1940s dresses.Best vintage shops on Etsy.


5) Canary Club Vintage 

Shipping Worldwide!

Minnesota, United States

Over 1200 sales

Magnificent selection of vintage dresses, suits and coats!

1950s navy dress

Gorgeous 1950s navy day dress with decorative buttons, made of textured rayon. If only I looked good in blue!

1950s plaid dress. Best vintage shops on Etsy.

Another example of a beautiful 1950s day dress, a real masterpiece!

6) Cult Of Chiffon

Shipping Worldwide

Texas, United States

Over 870 sales

Dreamy vintage clothes and accessories from 1920s-1970s. Some of the most beautiful pieces of vintage lingerie I’ve seen in years!

Vintage lingerie

Just a small selection of my favourite lingerie pieces from Cult Of Chiffon.

pink 1950s dress. Best vintage shops on Etsy.

Lovely 1950s shirtwaist dress made of rose silk jacquard, paired with a cream 1940s metal mesh purse.


7) Crush Vintage

Shipping Worldwide!

California, United States

Over 3500 sales

Lots of vintage treasures in the form of 1940s dresses, 1930s and 1940s lingerie, hats and a big selection of vintage wedding dresses that could easily be worn as evening gowns.

1930s velvet coat

Stunning velvet 1930s coat with a white collar.

Edwardian dress

I have a weakness for Victorian or Edwardian dresses as well as funeral capes and simply couldn’t resist showing you all this particular example of the treasures that Crush Vintage has in her store! Don’t you think that the dress paired with this  lovely 1940s bag is a match made in heaven!

8) Dandelion Vintage

Shipping Worldwide!

Over 1100 sales

Huge selection of clothes and accessories ranging from Victorian to 1980s. Lovely vintage scarfs and lingerie!

1960s suit

This 1960s dark pink suit with fur trim is an example of class and sophistication. I paired it with a Victorian silk lace shawl because I believe that everything goes with a Victorian Shawl. 🙂

1950s suit

1950s navy blue suit with a polka dot lining and matching bow, paired with a wide brim hat from the same period of time and 1960s wooden basket.

9) Dear Golden Vintage

Shipping Worldwide

Michigan, United States

Over 14600 sales

Official Website: www.deargolden.com

Address: Dear Golden

211.S Fourth Ave.

Ann Arbor, MI

Breathtaking hand-selected vintage clothes and accessories from 1910s-1980s. Huge  selection of vintage dresses and coats, that are all on my wish-list!

*Due to technical problems,  unexpected loss of internet (for 5hours!) while I was in the middle of writing the article,  I “lost” one of the shops from my best vintage shops on Etsy list and unfortunately it was the Dear Golden Vintage. The order has been restored and the shop is right where it belongs!!!

best vintage shops on vintage

My dream 1950s princess coat (sadly a little bit too small), paired with a gorgeous 1930s dress, 1920s silk chemise and 1950s orange heels with open toes!

best vintage shops on Etsy

Another example of a stunning vintage coat, this time from 1930s! I paired it with a pair of 1940s black satin platforms with peep-toe!

10) Denisbrain Vintage 

Shipping Worldwide!

Washington, United States

Over 2400 sales

The owner’s mantra ” Wear vintage and make the world brighter.”

Fabulous selection of beautiful dresses, coats, 1950s skirts and accessories, especially hats!

1930s gown

1930s-1940s black gown with a fitted jacket, that I’m utterly obsessed with, paired with 1940s tilt hat with a veil. I can resist almost everything but a hat with a veil. It’s Beyond My Control.

1940s suit. Best vintage shops on Etsy.

1940s brown, check suit by Kolmer. Love the tailored jacket with shoulder pads and the matching skirt with a back kick pleat!

11) Fab Gabs 

Shipping Worldwide!

Oregon, United States

Over 8000 sales

Beautiful selection of dresses and separates from 1920s, 1930, 1940s and 1950s.

1940s dress

Incredible 1940s dress with sheer mesh and balloon sleeves paired with a 1940s tilt hat shaped like a teardrop!

1930s pink dress. Best vintage shops on Etsy.

1930s dress in a rosy pink rayon crepe and puffed sleeves perfect for Summer days.


12) Fairy Floss Vintage

Shipping Worldwide!

Texas, United States

55 sales on Etsy since 2016

Dreamy selection of antique and vintage clothes.  Every time I go back to Ruby’s Etsy shop for inspiration I have a sudden urge to listen to Stevie Nicks. 🙂 Really looking forward to seeing how the shop expands over time.

1930s gown

Late 1930s early 1940s cream and chiffon gown with faux pearl buttons. *Fur collar and necklace not included*

Edwardian dress. Best vintage shops on Etsy.

Very romantic Edwardian two piece dress made of gauzy cotton lawn fabric.


I know, that my readers are very refined, people of class and good taste so there is no need for introducing Stevie Nicks but at least  I can tell you a funny and sad  at the same time anecdote. Last year I witnessed a conversation between two teenage girls and it went like this:


Girl a) ” Have you ever heard of  Stevie Nicks?

Girl b) No, Oh hold on! Isn’t she an actress on American Horror Story?

Girl a) Yeah but you know she’s like this new musician too.”


And people wonder why sometimes I go all Joan Crawford on them! 🙂

Joan Crawford in Mildred Pierce

In the picture on the left: Joan Crawford in Mildred Pierce. In the picture on the right; Stevie Nicks on her album cover for Bella Donna (new out in 1981)

13) Garb -Oh Vintage

Shipping Worldwide!

Oregon, United States

Over 1600 sales

Rhiannon, the owner of Garb-Oh Vintage is a real vintage hunter selling clothes and accessories from the 1920s-1960s.

Old Hollywood Glamour dress

1930s blue rayon dress with purple weave that has a dash of satin sheen to it. The wide belt and sleeves ending in a cuff of gold lame make the dress very dramatic. I wish I looked good in blue! I think it goes really well with the 1930s purse. So many of my favourite vintage pieces come in blue and it’s a colour I don’t think I can pull off.


1940s princess coat. Best vintage shops on Etsy.

Perfect marriage! Stunning 1940s princess coat with cape and you know my weakness for capes! Paired with a 1940s black sequin skull cap with a veil. Sadly my dream coat is a little bit to small for me, unless I decided to wear it over bare skin (hmmm, thinking, thinking) but it will be one lucky lady who gets to buy it!



14) Guermantes Vintage

Shipping Worldwide

Maryland, United States

Over 1000 sales

Rare antique and vintage clothing, a real treasure box of dream pieces! You will find a big selection of couture 1920s coats that are worth maxing your credit card for!


1920s coat. Best vintage shops on Etsy.

Breathtaking 1920s coat, that has been on my wishlist for a long time but has now been reserved for someone, which proves how fast you need to act if you see something you really love.

Rare 1930s dress. Best vintage shops on Etsy.

Stunning and very rare 1930s evening gown encrusted in sequins!


15) Hedonist Vintage

Shipping Worldwide!

Maine, United States

Over 190 sales

Another treasure hunter with big selection of vintage clothes and accessories from the 1950s -1980s.

1960s wiggle dress. Best vintage shops on Etsy.

I have to admit, I’m not a big fan of the 1960s fashion but there is always an exception and this beautiful 60s, wiggle dress is just that! Utter perfection.

1930s dressing gown

This stunning 1930s blue satin dressing gown had me fooled for a second and I thought it was an evening gown!

16) Machindance Vintage

Shipping Worldwide

Virginia, United States

Over 200 sales

Heaven for those like yours truly in love with 1950s dresses and suits!

1950s Bette Davis dress

This stunning 1950s black taffeta Ceil Chapman dress reminds me so much of the dress designed by Edith Head for Bette Davis in All About Eve!

1950s wiggle dress. Best vintage shops on Etsy.

1950s blue embroidered taffeta dress perfect for Summer parties.

17) Mill Street Vintage

Shipping Worldwide!

Over 2300 sales

Vintage shop with beautiful dresses from 1940s-1970s, a real treat for the eye.

blue 1950s dress. Best vintage shops on Etsy.

1950s blue floral cotton dress with detachable belt.

green 1950s dress. Best vintage shops on Etsy.

Crying a river over this simple, green with leopard trim 1950s dress, that would be perfect for me. Sadly it’s the wrong size.

18) No Carnations

Shipping Worldwide

Texas, United States

Over 2800 sales

Sheena, the shop’s owner believes that everyone deserves to wear good clothes and that’s exactly what you will find in No Carnations, simply a beautiful selection of vintage clothes and accessories.

1940s dress

1940s black rayon crepe dress with sleeves and collar trimmed in a peach velvet with rhinestones. I paired it with 1940s pink, silk shoes. I find that pink and orange/peach go hand in hand!

best vintage shops on Etsy

Breathtaking 1950s navy linen dress with matching cropped jacket paired with a 1940s hat.

19) Nouveau 2 You

Shipping Worldwide

Over 460 sales

Carefully selected vintage clothes from the 1920s-1950s. If I were to describe Valentine’s clients, based on the treasures she sells, it would be classy Femme Fatales with a love for glamour.

1950s dress. Best vintage shops on Etsy.

Beautiful 1950s New Look dress made of silk chiffon fabric and lace, with a wasp waist and very dramatic circle skirt.

polka dots 1950s dress. Best vintage shops on Etsy.

Dazzling 1950s cocktail dress with fitted waist, made of blue silk with polka dots.

20) Off Broadway Vintage 

Shipping Worldwide

New Mexico, United States

Over 600 sales

Official website: http://www.offbroadwayvintage.com/

High-end vintage clothes from the turn of the last century through to the 1980s. Big selection of vintage dresses and coats, that look like they’ve jumped of a movie screen!

1930s coat. Best vintage shops on Etsy.

Jaw-dropping purple, wool tweed 1930s coat that Joan Crawford would have approved of!

1950s sequins dress. Best vintage shops on Etsy.

Ladies and Gentleman! Guys and Dolls! Behold this glamorous, 1950s Gene Shelly sequins dress with white ostrich feathers.

21) Pale Pink Vintage 

Shipping Worldwide

Washington, United States

Over 600 sales

Vintage dresses, gowns, lingerie and much more from 1920s -1970s

1930s dress, Best vintage shops on Etsy.

In love with this elegant 1930s dress by Grosscraft.

1940s suit

Lovely 1940s grey suit by Marian Ross perfect for a business meeting or a lunch with the ladies.

22) Paper Luna Vintage

Shipping Worldwide

Arizona, United States

Over 130 sales

Annie has a lovely selection of dresses, coats and accessories from the 1950s and 1960s.

red 50s dress. Best vintage shops on Etsy.

1950s red and black cotton dress with a cummerbund style waist. Paired with 1950s cage hat with large bow and netting and beautiful 1930s cameo earrings.

1950s sapphire dress

Gorgeous 1950s sapphire blue taffeta dress. The black ribbon sash belt accentuates the waist on a very full circle skirt.

23) Poppycock Vintage

Shipping Worldwide

North Carolina, United States

Over 3300 sales

Beautiful vintage treasures from 1800s-1900. Huge selection of  hats from 1930s, 1940s and 1950s.

1930s nightgown. Best vintage shops on Etsy.

1930s pink satin nightgown is what every lady needs in her boudoir!

vintage hats

Some of my favourite 1930s and 1940s hats from Poppycock Vintage.

24) Pursuing Andie Vintage

Idaho, United States

Over 2290 sales

Huge selection of clothes and accessories from 1940 to 1980s

1950s polka dot dress. Best vintage shops on Etsy.

Lovely 1950s blue and white polka dot, drop waist dress paired with 1960s woven wicker purse.

1950s navy dress

1950s navy blue and silver patio dress, paired with wicker purse with fruit detail.

25) Ruby Fayes Vintage

Shipping Worldwide

Colorado, United States

Over 1260 sales

Gorgeous range of clothes from 1910s to 1950s!

Best vintage shops on Etsy.

Simply magnificent 1940s black and silver sweater, decorated with rhinestones which I paired with a gorgeous velvet bolero.

1950s wool sweater and skirt set.

Lovely 1940s set consisting of wool knit sweater with gold metallic threading and a pencil skirt.

26) Savvy Spinster Vintage

Shipping Worldwide

Over 830 sales

Melissa’s shop has only a few garments for sale at any given time but there’s always something amazing. I recently purchased from her a gorgeous 1940s suit, which I will be wearing during my upcoming photoshoot so stay tuned! (You can see pictures of me wearing the suit here!)

1940s suit

New addition to my vintage collection, a beautiful, grey suit from the 1940s.

Betty Barcley vintage dress

A radiant purple, late 1940s early1950s dress, that was snapped up by a shopper before I got a chance to click ‘add to cart’!

27) Selkie Vintage

Shipping Worldwide

Over 115 sales

Selkie Vintage sells mainly via her Instagram page, which you can find here.

Graceful vintage clothes and accessories!

velvet suit from 1940s

Very dramatic, velvet ( I would never say no to velvet) suit, that any self-respecting Femme Fatale needs in her wardrobe! Selection of few of my favourite bags from 1940s and 1960s.

Lilli Ann grey suit. Best vintage shops on Etsy.

Beautiful dove grey Lilli Ann suit with a dyed fox fur peplum.

28) Simply Vintage Co.

Shipping Worldwide

Oregon, United States

Over 3480 sales

Real heaven for those searching for 1940s and 1950s clothes, especially dresses and suits.

Address: Simply Vintage Co.

1100 SE Division St Ste 102

Portland, OR 97202



Lilli Ann. Best vintage shops on Etsy.

Gorgeous late 1940s Lilli Ann suit with velvet collar!

1950s dress

Very sweet early 1950s dress made of a rayon blend with wide waistband and shelf bust.


29) Simplicity Is Bliss

Shipping Worldwide

California, United States

Over 4890 sales

The shop has a huge selection of vintage clothing from 1920s to 1960s, focusing on dresses for every occasion.

Lilli Ann coat. Best vintage shops on Etsy.

Breathtaking 1950s Lilli Ann coat with a nipped waist and a huge full skirt. I paired it with an antique Edwardian blouse that would look perfect underneath the coat, after all at some point you have to take of that coat.

1950s R&K dress. Best vintage shops on Etsy.

Beautiful 1950s R&K navy blue dress with a very flattering fitted bodice.


30) Swan Song Vintage

Shipping Worldwide

Oregon, United States

Over 1000 sales

Lovely dresses, suits, accessories and more mainly from 1950s to 1970s.

1940s crepe dress

Delicious 1940s wool crepe dress with black sequins on the front bodice paired with a 1920s opera cape.

1950s New Look dress. Best vintage shops on Etsy.

Spectacular 1950s wedding gown, that reminds me so much of a Dior couture gown. I would have no problem wearing it as an evening gown!

31) The Get Up Vintage

Shipping Worldwide

Vermont, United States

Over 400 sales

Dazzling selection of vintage clothes from 1920s to 1970s spiced up with Edwardian gems.

1950s flower dress

A rare 1950s Grenelle Estevez blue rose dress that I paired with an Edwardian bodice, purse and gorgeous 1950s Herbert Levine black sandals.

1950s flower dress. Best vintage shops on Etsy.

Very romantic top and skirt set with a floral motif.

32) The Vintage Net

Shipping Worldwide

Rare and very unusual vintage treasures in the form of dresses, shawls, lingerie and much more.

1940s Mexico skirt. Best vintage shops on Etsy.

Extremely rare Mexican embroidered skirt from the late 1940s or early 1950s. Magnificent colours that remind me of Frida Kahlo! I paired the skirt with Victorian gloves to show you all that there are no rules in fashion and mixing clothes from one era with accessories from another can create a very interesting look.

1920s large shawl. Best vintage shops on Etsy.

This magnificent 1920s oversized shawl with floral embroidery is a real work of art and should be displayed  in a museum or on my shoulders!

33) TheVintageStudio

Shipping Worldwide

North Carolina, United States

Over 5300 sales

Jaw-dropping vintage cocktail and evening dresses mainly from 1940s and 1950s is the main reason I stop by their page at least once a day. Oh dear, I think that’s called stalking.

1950s secretary dress. Best vintage shops on Etsy.

Stunning navy 1950s secretary dress with a bow accent.

1950s Bette Davis dress. Best vintage shops on Etsy.

Beautiful 1950s dress made of black taffeta a must have for anyone like yours truly, inspired by Bette Davis in All About Eve.

34) Trailer Park Flamingo

Shipping Worldwide

Missouri, United States

Over 390 sales

Beautiful selection of very unique vintage clothes and accessories from the 1940s to 1970s.

40s wiggle dress. Best vintage shops on Etsy.

My dream wiggle 1940s dress with gorgeous puffed sleeves! I think it would look great paired with the cranberry fur coat and 1950s kitten heels.

1940s black suit

Very Femme Fatale/ Rachel from Blade Runner 1940s suit with Bishop sleeves. I paired it with 1940s purple coat and black peep-toes.

35) Trunk of Dresses

Shipping Worldwide

Vancouver, Canada

Over 2300 sales

Breathtaking vintage clothes ranging from 1920s to 1970s.

1930s gown. Best vintage shops on Etsy.

1930s dream of a gown in a beautiful green colour, perfect for a red head, with original slip! I paired it with a 1950s cashmere-like shawl.

1950s velvet dress. Best vintage shops on Etsy.

This 1950s velvet evening dress by Murray Fmaburger is simply divine! I paired it with a black princess coat from the same era and I think it’s a match made in heaven.


36) Two Old Beans

Shipping Worldwide

Tennessee, United States

Over 580 sales

Official website: http://www.twooldbeansvintage.com/

Darling selection of vintage clothes and accessories from 1940s to 1970s.

1940s evening gown. Best vintage shops on Etsy.

Breathtaking 1940s evening gown by DuBarry in a deep purple rayon.

1940s suit. Best vintage shops on Etsy.

Can’t stop staring at this 1940s suit in chocolate brown wool which I’ve paired here with 1940s brown pumps.

37) Via’s Vintage

Shipping Worldwide

Minnesota, United States

Over 350 sales

Delicious vintage clothes and accessories from as early as 1800s to the 1970s.

1940s gown- Best vintage shops on Etsy.

Gorgeous 1940s black crepe dress with sequin flowers.

Beautiful 1950s Ceil Chapman dress made of silk. Best vintage shops on Etsy.

Beautiful 1950s Ceil Chapman dress made of silk, paired with 1950s pink and red diamante set consisting of  brooch and clip-on earrings.


What’s your favourite vintage shop on Etsy?



The Real and the Inspired By – 1940s Fashion


The slogan “If you don’t need it, don’t buy it!” may well have been familiar to a woman living in 1940s wartime Britain; a time polar to the opulence of my beloved 18th Century and yet a period that still holds an enormous sway over my own personal sense of style.

The real 1940s fashion decade was a tumultuous time, a now-forgotten casualty of war with scarce raw materials to work with and clothing factories that were turned over to military purposes. Of the Allied nations, for those on the Homefront, simplicity was paramount; simple designs, simple fabrics – limited to cotton, wool, linen and some synthetics, while households were given coupons which, when enough had been saved, could be exchanged, in the case of women, for a dress, stockings and other basic garments.

In Britain, the real 1940s fashion, saw restriction after restriction on what could be produced and yet more restraint was still needed. So British Austerity Regulations were introduced in 1942 which sought to narrow fashion choices further by introducing a set of rules for clothing –

  • Jackets and Coats can have no more than 3 pockets
  • Dresses may only have 2 pockets
  • No metal or leather buttons
  • No boys under 13 may wear long trousers
  • No tail coats
  • All braid, embroidery and lace are banned *

As a way to help people adjust to these limitations, the British Government also introduced the Utility clothing scheme in 1942 which offered to guarantee, price-controlled clothes affordable for everyone. Leading designers of the time established the London Fashion Group, who together with the Board of Trade, designed suits, dresses and overcoats, following the rigid regulations which restricted designers to use very specific amounts of fabric on each garment. The 32 designs turned out to be a surprise hit with the public and two looks emerged from these wartime confinements, a military – which consisted mainly of short jackets, knee length skirts, pant suits and matching head pieces, worn mainly by women who served in the war, while the alternative was a utility look with tailored suits being favoured.

By 1943, when austerity had reached its peak, the policy became “Make Do and Mend!” which was the title of a pamphlet issued by the British Ministry of Information that became hugely popular and useful with its tips on how to take care of clothes and make use of old garments. Readers were advised to create pretty decorative patches to cover holes in worn garments, unpick old jumpers to re-knit chic alternatives, turn men’s clothes into women’s, as well as darn, alter and protect against the ‘moth menace!’ Women also learned from the pamphlet that stockings that were very expensive and difficult to find could by created by drawing lines at the back of legs to look like stocking seams.

The seemingly endless rationing didn’t end with the war but was gradually eased, women were increasing desiring of a return to fashion that accentuated their femininity and it comes as no surprise to learn that “The New Look” of 1947 was a huge success, firmly placing designer Christian Dior at the forefront of the next fashion revolution with his use of sumptuous fabrics, fuller skirts that hung just below the calves and fitted jacket which emphasised a woman’s sexuality. To quote from fashion historian Jonathan Walford “Feminine luxury and elegance became a symbol of post-war prosperity and defined the silhouette of the coming decade”

1940s fashion was all about hour glass silhouette; broad shoulders, small waist and full hips. To create the desired look women wore –

  • Wide padded shoulders.
  • A-line skirts of knee length.
  • Sleeves ending above elbow or full-length.
  • Two piece suit consisting of skirts and a jacket with a flare at the bottom.
  • High waisted, wide leg trousers  worn for comfort favourite amongst movie stars such as; Marlene Dietrich and Katharine Hepburn. You can read more about the wide leg trousers here.
  • Shirtwaist dress-buttoned in front usually with buttons covered in the same fabric as the dress.
  • Button-down dress.
  • Wrap dress-hugely popular in 1945.


“Forties Fashion: From Siren Suits to the New Look” Jonathan Walford

“The Impact of World War II on Women’s Fashion in the United States and

Britain” by Meghann Mason

* “How Clothes Rationing Affected Fashion In The Second World War”

By Laura Clouting and Amanda Mason


40s fashion

“Four young ladies enjoy a stroll in the Spring sunshine along a shopping street in the West End of London during 1941.” Ministry of Information Photo Division Photographer  © IWM (D 2937)

40s propaganda poster

Make – do and Mand poster © IWM (Art.IWM PST 4773)

As a huge fan of and being inspired by 1940s fashion, always hunting for authentic pieces on Etsy and vintage fairs, I can tell you with all honesty that even with the surprisingly large amount of original clothes from that period of time available to buy, it still isn’t easy to find something that will be the right size or in preferred colour or good enough state to be worn on a daily basis. Sometimes then I have no choice but look for modern designer pieces that are inspired by 1940s fashion and one such gem that I’ve found is the Austrian designer Lena Hoschek, whose Autumn-Winter 2016/17 “The Brits” collection was inspired by 1940s fashion in Britain, or more precisely, the British countryside. “I treasure the British traditions and the flea market-inspired style that allows for a mixture of spectacularly elegant and cosy, quirky fashion” Lena Hoschek said of her collection. I love the Miss Marple and Sherlock Holmes reference so clearly visible in her designs and I’m more than excited to share with you all pictures from her latest look-book.

40s inspired fashion

Berkeley blazer and London skirt in rust by Lena Hoschek from the Autumn-Winter 2016/17 The Brits collection.

Regent blazer, Poetry skirt and Brit blouse by Lena Hoschek from the Autumn-Winter 2016/17 The Brits collection.

40s dress

Mustard Bastard dress by Lena Hoschek from the Autumn-Winter 2016/17 The Brits collection.

40s dress

Miss Marple dress by Lena Hoschek from the Autumn-Winter 2016/17 The Brits collection.

40s dress

Harrison dress by Lena Hoschek from the Autumn-Winter 2016/17 The Brits collection.

40s fashion

My Lady blouse and Campbridge skirt by Lena Hoschek from the Autumn-Winter 2016/17 The Brits collection.

40s dress

Earl Grey dress by Lena Hoschek from the Autumn-Winter 2016/17 The Brits collection. Photography: Wolfgang Pohn

Lana Turner 40s fashion

Lana Turner in Keep Your Powder Dry (1945) Costume supervisor; Irene Maud Lentz.

Katherine Hepburn

Katherine Hepburn in The Philadelphia Story (Play) Costume by Valentina, one of Katherine’s favourite designers and friends although she was not involved in making  costumes for the film version of the Broadway play. The honour went to one of my favourite costume designers, Adrian. I wish there was a colour version of this photograph but I have it on good authority that it’s a red and white gingham.


For the “1940s inspired fashion” look I opted for;

KOSSMANN Shirtwaist Dress


Genuine Russian WWII Military Pilotka hat which has been customised by me . The vintage numbers on the hat come from British Police uniform.

1940s fashion

1940s inspired fashion. In the picture I’m wearing a Kossmann dress, Wittchen pumps and vintage hat.

1940s fashion. Wittchen shoes and Kossmann dress.

1940s inspired fashion. In the picture I’m wearing a Kossmann dress, Wittchen pumps and vintage hat.

1940s fashion. Kossmann dress. Wittchen shoes