Tag Archives 1950s fashion

How to wear 1950s clothing in Autumn

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How to wear 1950s clothing in Autumn!

Autumn is without a doubt my favourite time of the year. It’s the most vintage friendly season, as long as it’s not raining that is, when I can wear a 1950s skirt suit, like the Handmacher beauty in the picture below, or a dress, without the need of having to cover it with a coat.

1950s Handmacher suit

1950s Handmacher suit paired with Garay purse, Wolford tights and ankle boots.

The choices in styling and accessorising a 1950s garment for the Autumn season are endless. Hats, scarves, gloves, tights and shoes, be it true vintage or contemporary, can transform the look of a 1950s garment completely. Swapping flat brogues for high heels or booties and adding a sparkling brooch, is all you really need to turn a 1950s day dress into an evening ensemble.

I found that what really works with wearing 1950s clothes in Autumn, regardless if it’s a blouse with skirt or trousers combination, or even a dress that you opt for, is a velvet bolero or a cape. In the picture below I paired one of my many 1950s velvet boleros with Wolford body, which keeps me very warm in colder days. It’s also a perfect example that vintage clothes can look quite contemporary depending on how they are styled.

My vintage fashion blog1950s bolero paired with Wolford body, which is perfect for colder days.For today’s 1950s Autumn look I opted for:

The 1950s dress  by Junior First Fashion

The 1950s velvet bolero

The 19550s gloves

The 1950s hair snood

Wolford tights

Photography: Gregory Michael King 

vintage blogger

How to wear 1950s clothing in Autumn

How to wear 1950s clothing in Autumn

vintage fashion blog

How to wear 1950s clothing in Autumn

vintage blogger

How to wear 1950s clothing in Autumn

How to wear 1950s clothing in Autumn.

How to wear 1950s clothing in Autumn

LazienkiParkWarsawAutumn

Beautiful Lazienki Park in Warsaw!

 

Below are a few examples of how women dressed in Autumn in the 1950s.

1950s fashion

 

“The ‘costume look’ has developed into a strong fashion idea for fall and winter. The news is in the mismated fabrics and colors used in this year’s go-togethers. Highly-textured (and often noisily patterned) coats and jackets are sold frankly as suits with solid color dresses or skirts. Wool capes or stoles teamed with evening dresses made other texture combinations. Brilliant colors, so popular in this year’s town suits and coats, added still another mismatched note. (…)

Fashion’s new running mates, often mismatched, were as important in cocktail and evening clothes as in daytime fashions. Examples: Rough tweed and yarn-dyed will made another daytime team in Adele Simpson’s cut away jacket and one-piece dress. Fitted basque jackets or full-length satin coats teamed with matching skirts were among the new cocktail-time go-togethers.”  Quick NEWS WEEKLY SEPT.24,1952 p.37 This article was provided by  oldmagazinearticles.com

 

 

 

The Starlet’s Stylist vintage shop

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As part of the  vintage shop of the week segment of my blog, I’m very excited to present you with The Starlet’s Stylist, a shop that has been on my radar ever since I discovered it on Instagram. Run by Sylvia, a person with extraordinary taste in vintage garments, who used to test the vintage market by teasing us all with little previews of what was to come, before finally opening  her Etsy shop, where you now can find the most exquisite 1930s and 1940s evening gowns worthy of Joan Crawford.

 

Starlets Stylist

Breathtaking 1950s orange gown available at The Starlet’s Stylist Vintage Etsy shop.

1950s swing coat

1950s swing coat

Dominique de Merteuil: How did you start your adventure in selling vintage clothes?
The Starlet’s Stylist:  I have degrees in anthropology, history and international studies with various specializations within each field so the past has always been an interest to me. In high school I collected reproductions of ancient artwork and jewellery and I wore them or incorporated them into my school work in whatever way I could. I had big stacks of history books that I read from cover to cover and as I grew up I often found myself in places or at events that were somehow related to history. It was inevitable that I would discover vintage jewellery, hats, clothing and purses and of course once I put them on, I was forever in love. It wasn’t until recently that I realised I had access to good vintage fashion in one hand and due to social media, I had access to vintage enthusiasts from around the world in the other hand. It just made sense to try to unite the two and I am so glad I did.
1940s Japanese hostess gown
Dominique de Merteuil: What can we find in your vintage shop? For example, do you specialise in a particular era or type of garment, accessory, etc?
The Starlet’s Stylist: I focus on pieces from the first seventy years of the previous century. I think it’s the sweet spot in terms of wearability and aesthetic appeal. I sell jewellery, hats, purses, and lingerie in addition to clothing. I tend to gravitate toward evening gowns for some reason, especially those from the 1930’s and 1940’s. They’re just so feminine and regal and unlike anything you can get in stores these days. I’ve sold quite a few, still have quite a few and there are quite a few more on their way to the shop!
1940s evening gown

1940s evening gown

1950s hostess gown

1950s Suzy Perette dress

1950s Suzy Perette dress

Dominique de Merteuil: 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?

The Starlet’s Stylist: You know what? I love “the hunt” for vintage. I swear I tend to belly flop through life like I don’t know what I’m doing (because I don’t) but when it comes to hunting good vintage, I’m as graceful as a ballet dancer. Some sources can be very hectic, competitive and like a mad dash but I don’t sweat it in the slightest. I move slow, take my time, observe my surroundings, chat to people, have a snack, get stuck in a porta potty (why does that happen so much?) make friends, contemplate lunch, and before I know it I’ve had the time of my life and I’ve got bags of really good stuff! So my process for selecting stock really doesn’t extend much beyond: “ooooh this is pretty!” and “wheeeeee this is fun.” It’s not the most business savvy approach but it seems to work for me.
1950s dress
Dominique de Merteuil: Where do you find all those beautiful vintage clothes and accessories for your shop? (if it’s not a secret!)  
The Starlets Stylist: Sources can be three things: places, events or people. I spend a lot of time independently sourcing stock but it would be unfair to omit the fact that the most important of the three is the people. I have met so many wonderful, warm and generous people and without them, I don’t think I would be as successful as I have been so far. This industry in my experience, like anything in life, is all about the relationships you foster with people. If you want to have a vintage shop of your own it really is about who you know. You have to talk to people and you have to charm the pants off them! Not literally of course, not unless you could sell them… haha!
Dominique de Merteuil:  What is your favourite period in time and why?
The Starlet’s Stylist: Right now my favourite period in time is the late 1700’s. Political movements were taking place that were enormous and colonialism began to impact people in ways the world hadn’t contended with before. If not then, then the early 1900’s when medical advancements were taking place that catapulted humanity into health and longevity. I always say I want to be a World War One field nurse when I grow up because the things they were doing then were incredible. Did you know if you broke your leg back then you had an incredibly high chance of dying within six months? The Great War changed all of that! Anyway, in terms of fashion and what I sell, I adore the 1920’s. I love the opulence and the sensuality of it all. I love how the dresses were shapeless but the fabric and the beading are more suggestive and racier than anything today! I also think quality in general has been on a steady decline ever since. There is a reason why 50’s reproduction clothing is passable for some vintage enthusiasts but 20’s reproduction almost never makes the grade. It’s easy to find pretty cotton novelty prints but not so easy to find sequins and beads that don’t look cheap and juvenile. Don’t get me started on modern silk or lame fabrics!
1940s velvet dress

1940s velvet dress from The Stylists Starlet vintage shop of the week.

1960s Ruth Claridge dress

1960s Ruth Claridge dress

1940s Louella Ballerino dress

1940s Louella Ballerino dress can be found in The Starlet’s Stylist Etsy shop!

Dominique de Merteuil:  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?
The Starlet’s Stylist: After knowing your measurements and any additional fit concerns that are particular to your body like wide hips (me!), broad shoulders or long torso, my advice is to buy what you like. Is that too simple? It really is that simple. In my experience, people who are interested in trying vintage fashion for the first time, often over-complicate it. I think this is due to two things; one is this strange obsession with having the perfect body and the other is the casual approach to fashion these days. As a result, people think in order to wear what they like they need to be perfect or they need an occasion to “dress up.” It’s a bit of cognitive dissonance because we must be creatures of perfection and yet we need to be muted and casual to fit in. A flow of silly thinking happens as a result and we either end up just admiring from afar or we wet our toes with one or two vintage pieces that blend well with modern life for a look that we didn’t really want. But why do that? In my mind it’s much better to buy what inspires you. Wear what you like, do what you like, and if you need help contact the seller with your questions. If she is anything like me she wouldn’t mind helping you out! The last thing I want to sell is disappointment so I really try my best to help people figure out if an item will work for them.
Dominique de Merteuil: What are your 3 favourite items that you have ever sold and why have you chosen to name those particular ones?
The Starlet’s Stylist: My favourite shop item was a dress that belonged to Miss Canada 1954. The only reason why I sold it was because it was too big for me but it was one of the most well made dresses I have ever found. It was the perfect little black wiggle dress with just the right about of elegance and sex appeal. The fabric was soft and figure hugging but with great movement and the arms and shoulders were sheer black. Her name was Barbara Joan Markham and she once said she didn’t know why she won and that she had only entered so she could showcase her fine art skills. Whatever Barbara, you were a total babe and whoever bought your dress is babe-lier for it!
1954 dress

Miss Canada dress from 1954

Another of my favourite finds is a couture 1930’s gown by Germaine Monteil. It’s so iconic to the era with the vibrant pink, the black lace and the bias cut! It’s currently available as it only hit the shop not too long ago!
The Starlets Stylist

1930’s couture gown by Germaine Monteil

I also have to say that whenever I sell a piece of 40’s lingerie I cry a little inside. I can’t keep it all but I don’t think anything out there makes me feel womanly and glamorous more so than a 40’s peignoir, dressing gown or slip. This one has sold but I do have a charmeuse peignoir set available in the shop!
1940s peignoir

1940s peignoir

Dominique de Merteuil: What are your favourite vintage brands and are they very difficult to find? 
The Starlet’s Stylist: As exciting as it can be to find certain clothing labels, I don’t really search for any in particular but I do when it comes to jewellery! I think jewellery companies tend to differ in creative flare and manufacture much more than clothing brands in any given era. For example, a 1940’s suit is more or less always going to be a 1940’s suit no matter who made it. Sure some are better than others but generally they all stick to the same fashion formula. Jewellery on the other hand, often differs stylistically within the same era from one company to another. I absolutely love Ostby and Barton rings from the 1910’s and 1920’s. They stand out with their delicate metal work and large glass/gemstones. Fun fact: Ostby himself went down with the Titanic. I also love Miriam Haskell sets from the 30’s and 40’s as well as Mazer and McClelland Barclay. Fun fact: Barclay went down with a ship that was torpedoed in the Pacific during World War Two. What is it with jewellery makers and ships?
vintage jewellery

Beautiful selection of vintage jewellery from The Starlets Stylist.

vintage hats
Dominique de Merteuil: What’s in your wardrobe? Do you personally wear vintage clothes on a daily basis?
The Starlet’s Stylist: I spend 85% of my time in tired yoga pants (ain’t no yoga happening) and t-shirts that smell like pizza. I just cracked myself up because I shouldn’t be so honest but it’s just the truth. I am a mother to two little girls and wife to a career man and while “mother” and “wife” are the last two things I would say to describe myself, I have responsibilities to these people I share my life with. These responsibilities are the natural born nemesis of vintage and since the preservation of my historical artefacts and vintage clothing is the only thing I take seriously in life, I am in slob mode 85% of the time. However, I am naturally a very feminine person and I have always been very particular about what I wear outside of the house. In fact, I decided to give birth at home in the middle of being in labour because I didn’t want to get dressed to go the hospital. Haha! Before I get in trouble for saying that I just want to add that in Canada midwives are educated and regulated healthcare professionals that have medical and legal license to deliver babies at home or at hospitals. It’s a very different health care system compared to some parts of the world! It was a very safe decision after a very long (oh god it was so long) and healthy pregnancy. So “tired yoga pants lady” very much exists but so does the woman who wears 50’s Mexican circle skirts to the grocery store, 40s day dresses when out with friends, 60’s mod dresses when shopping, and 20’s and 30’s gowns or coats when at a function with the husband. I haven’t managed to attempt vintage hair styling and I love modern makeup (hello bronzer!) so I never really look like I’ve stepped out of the past. I’m not entirely sure what I look like to the modern eye or even to the eye of the vintage purist but it doesn’t really matter because it’s all just clothing. It’s all “just clothing” says the woman who took over the walk-in closet and put her husband’s clothes on a rolling rack somewhere, haha!

Crush Vintage shop of the week!

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Meine Damen und Herren, Mesdames et Messieurs, Ladies and Gentleman! For my weekly Q&A in the Vintage Shop Of The Week section, which you can read more about  HERE! I present you with Crush Vintage, run by two friends whose mutual passion for vintage fashion led to the creation of a a shop filled with real treasures for savvy vintage shoppers like myself and where you can find garments dating to as early as 1800! With such an exquisite selection of coats from the 1930s-1980s it’s a real struggle to leave their Etsy shop without clicking the “add to cart” button.

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

Crush Vintage: I started out first on Ebay (during the Sophia Amoruso/Nasty Gal days!) just wanting to sell some of my unworn items, and quickly progressed into building a real customer base. I moved over to Etsy a few years later and haven’t looked back!

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

Crush Vintage: You can find all eras and clothing types from the 1970’s and older in the shop. We specialize in wearable vintage that will blend into any modern wardrobe.

1930s dress

1970s dress Stephen Burrows

Rare Stephen Burrows dress from the 70s in dusky pink rayon. You can buy this beauty from Crush Vintage  via their Etsy shop!

1930s silk gown from Crush Vintage

Breathtaking 1930s silk gown from Crush Vintage! 

Beautiful 1940s Dorothy O’Hara dress can be purchased from Crush Vintage Etsy shop but hurry up because It’s not going to stay there long!

 

Dominique de Merteuil: 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?

Crush Vintage: When purchasing an item, I run through many questions in my head: Is it in good condition? Can you picture a modern day girl wearing it? Would I wear it? Is it too costume-y or just the right amount of bonkers one of a kind amazing?

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

Crush Vintage: It is getting really hard finding good vintage nowadays that I have to search high and low for it! I also have great relationships with several estate sales companies and vendors. And also keeping in touch with those with big vintage collections. I have been cultivating one lead for three years! But she is getting close to selling me her collection…..very soon hopefully.

 

1940s Princess coat from Crush Vintage

One of the most beautiful 1940s coats I’ve ever seen! Available at Crush Vintage Etsy shop!

1940s tilt hat

Beautiful 1940s tilt hat from Crush Vintage!

1930s velvet coat from Crush Vintage

1930s velvet coat by I.Magnin & Co Importers from Crush Vintage.

1950s skirt suit in sapphire blue from Crush Vintage

Dominique de Merteuil: What is your favourite period in time and why?

Crush Vintage: My favorite period in time is right now! I love fashion’s inclusiveness and the fact that you can wear anything and everything and still look chic!

Dominique de Merteuil:  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?

Crush Vintage: The advice I would give someone who is starting their vintage collection is: Buy What You Love and Buy It Right Away. Don’t hesitate. It something speaks to you, get it. Vintage right now is so hot, and the good things get snapped up quickly. You can start with coats, jewelry, handbags, whatever you need to enhance your wardrobe. Oh…and keep your measurements handy!

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

Crush Vintage: Some of my favorite items are priceless things we unearthed. We have had several Adrian items (one gown and some suits!) and an amazing Poiret cape that was sold to a collector. That thrill of finding that hidden tag never gets old!

Poiret cape from Crush Vintage

Skirt suit by Adrian from Crush Vintage

Dress by Adrian from Crush Vintage

Dominique de Merteuil: What are your favourite vintage brands and are they very difficult to find?

Crush Vintage: My favorite vintage brands are so wide and varied! I love Dorothy O’Hara, Lilli Ann, Ceil Chapman…. but there are so many wonderful items with no labels too, we don’t discriminate. I think we have become too label conscious when really, it should be all about construction and quality.

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

Crush Vintage: I collect coats! Although, living in California I don’t get a chance to wear them too much! But I love that you can wear jeans and a t-shirt and throw a good jacket/coat on top and look completely chic! I get so many compliments on my vintage leopard coats.

 

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Ruby Faye’s Vintage – shop of the week!

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Ruby Faye’s Vintage  based in Denver, Co is an online vintage shop, where it’s not difficult to find a real treasure amongst a vast selection of garments dating from the 1900s-1960s. However, be warned, it’s easy to miss out on the actual purchase of your dream vintage piece, as  first dibs are always offered on Amanda’s Instagram account, before being listed on her Etsy shop. Based on my observations, it’s on IG where the truly savvy shoppers with excellent taste, snap the real treasures and it all happens within few minutes from being posted. So a lot of the times they won’t even make it to Etsy. My advice is to follow Amanda’s Instagram account and check daily for new items being listed!

Here are just few examples of some extraordinary pieces from Ruby Faye’s Vintage I sadly missed out on and a proof that great vintage clothes wait for no one!

vintage shop

Some of my favourite vintage garments I missed out on!

Without any further ado, I present you the vintage shop of the week!

Dominique de MerteuilHow did you start your adventure in selling vintage clothes?

Ruby Faye’s Vintage: I had been collecting vintage pieces for my personal wardrobe for several years and at one point I was a little short on money so I decided to sell a few pieces from my collection in order to raise the funds I needed. Around the same time, one of my best friends from college, came to visit me from Los Angeles. She had recently started selling clothing from the 1980’s and 1990’s on Etsy so when she was in town we ended up going to a few estate sales and it kind of just clicked. I realized it was a great way to fund my own vintage clothing buying habit and grew from there. 

Dominique de MerteuilWhat can we find in your vintage shop? For example, do you specialise in a particular era or type of garment, accessory, etc?

Ruby Faye’s Vintage: In my vintage shop you will find a collection of vintage clothing pieces from the 1900’s to the early 1960’s. On rare occasion I might stray a little later than that if I find an exceptional late 1960’s, or 1970’s but later than the 1960’s is really not my expertise. All the pieces I sell must be wearable and I am pretty particular when vintage hunting to try to only choose fashion forward garments, but I am also a huge sucker for the drama of old Hollywood glamour.

Ruby Faye's Vintage

Gorgeous 1950s chiffon cocktail dress by L’Aiglon is available on Ruby Faye’s Vintage Etsy shop.

Floral 50s dress

Very sweet 1950s floral sundress made of polished cotton available through Ruby Faye’s Vintage Etsy shop.

1950s Shirtwaist dress by Saks Fifth Avenue

Breathtaking 1950s shirtwaist dress with matching sash belt by Saks Fifth Avenue. You can purchase the garment through Ruby Faye’s Vintage INSTAGRAM page!

Dominique de MerteuilIs 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?

Ruby Faye’s Vintage: There are many factors that play a role when I am selecting garments for the shop. Era, and condition are the main ones but after that it comes down to style, fabric, wear-ability, as well as looking at it from the buyers perspective. I always ask myself, would I buy this for myself and if so how much would I want to spend on it. There are also many times when I come across something that I know certain customer will like.

1950s silk couture gown

Stunning 1950s silk gown with lace applique and boning in the bodice. This fantastic piece is available for purchase through Ruby Faye’s Vintage Instagram page.

1950s yellow cotton print dress

How fantastic is this yellow 1950s print dress! You can find it (if it hasn’t been sold yet!) through Ruby Faye’s Vintage Instagram page!

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

Ruby Faye’s Vintage: I wish there was an easy answer to this. The reality is that it just takes a lot of time and effort to find beautiful vintage pieces. So many hours are just spent waiting in line at an estate sale. There are a lot of early weekend mornings driving from garage sales, flea markets, antique shops, thrift stores etc. just hoping to come across something. There are some really great days where I come across some amazing finds, but in between that, the majority of time it is chasing leads that don’t pan out.

Dominique de Merteuil: What is your favourite period in time and why?

Ruby Faye’s Vintage: My favorite period of time fashion wise would have to be the 1930’s. The clothing and accessories were just so glamorous and swoon worthy.

Dominique de Merteuil: 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?

Ruby Faye’s Vintage: The first thing I would say is the key is to make sure you know your correct measurements. This can make the world of difference in finding a vintage piece that you will love. Besides just knowing your bust, waist, and hips, it is important to know if you are more long waisted or short waisted because it can really change the way a garment fits. Other than that I would say make sure to check the condition of the vintage piece you are thinking about buying or ask the seller questions about condition if it is not stated. Most sellers will welcome questions because they want you to be happy with your purchase.

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

Ruby Faye’s Vintage: This is probably to the toughest question on the whole questionnaire to answer. I fall in love with all of the vintage pieces in my shop. I originally picked about 15 favorite ones and then tried to narrow it down from there. I was stuck at around six… and now I can’t narrow it down to less than four, however two of them are a pair that came from the same estate.

The first one that popped in my mind was a purple 1930’s bias cut floor length gown with rhinestone button clasps in the front and a matching rhinestone belt. The back is almost caged. It’s just a show stopper. I have never been able to get the dress out of my head.

1930s gown

The second one is a 1940’s pink wool dress with music notes throughout it. It is just a really unique and fun dress and it sold within about 30 seconds when I listed it which is a good thing because any longer would have made me keep it for myself despite the fact that it wasn’t my size.

1940s dress

The last one, or pair is two 1950’s silk Hawaiian dresses with gold metallic designs. I held on to these dresses for about 4 years before I sold them even though I knew I would never fit into a 24″ waist. I just kept hoping. There were just really breathtaking, even more so in person.

Ruby Faye's Vintage

Dominique de Merteuil: What are your favourite vintage brands and are they very difficult to find?

Ruby Faye’s Vintage: I have several on my list of wish list designer finds but I will list my favorites that I have actually had the honor of finding:

Ceil Chapman – I have never come across a Ceil Chapman dress that wasn’t impeccably made and completely flattering.

1950s Ceil Chapman Dress

You can find this beautiful 1950s Ceil Chapman dress on Ruby Faye’s Vintage Instagram page but something tells me, that it won’t stay there for long!

Alfred Shaheen – I love cotton dresses so much and Alfred Shaheen was the king of constructing comfortable and stunning Hawaiian dresses

Lilli Ann – Every Lilli Ann coat or suit I have ever come across is just drool worthy.

These brands are harder to find but they aren’t impossible.

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

Ruby Faye’s Vintage: My style is eclectic. I wear vintage clothing regularly but tend to mix and match vintage with new pieces daily and save my good vintage for going out. This is mainly due to the fact that I work from home the majority of the time as well as the fact that when I am out vintage hunting I usually get up really early and I don’t want to ruin my vintage while I am digging through boxes or in dusty basements. However, I am almost always wearing vintage jewelry.

Victory Girl Vintage -Shop Of The Week

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Victory Girl Vintage  – the Canadian vintage shop of the week is filled with a big selection of dazzling, romantic dresses from 1930s- 1950s but thats not the only thing you will find there. Gorgeous coats, skirts and sweater tops will help you build an entire vintage wardrobe!

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

Victory Girl Vintage: I started working at vintage stores when I was 16 and all through university. I was living in an area of Toronto called Kensington Market that is really well known for vintage. I was literally surrounded by dozens of vintage shops and amazing clothing! After I graduated I was working in the fashion industry as a buyer, but I really needed a more creative outlet and started selling vintage as a side hustle. It was hard juggling a really demanding day job and a side business but it was rewarding and I couldn’t stop. Things were steadily picking up so about a year and a half ago I thought why not take the plunge and do this full time. It was the best decision I ever made!

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

VGV: You will mainly find women’s dresses, separates and lingerie from the 1930’s to 1950’s, and a few items from the 1960’s and 1970’s fixed in. I’ll be adding a men’s section soon so stay tuned!

vintage shop

Lovely 1940s novelty print dress, which can be purchased from the Victory Girl Vintage shop by clicking on the image!

Beautiful 1950s floral dress, which can be purchased from Victory Girl Vintage Etsy shop. Simply click on the image!

Vintage Shop

Stunning 1950s gold and black dress with a big butterfly applique, that can be purchased by clicking on the image.

vintage shop

Lovely 1950s pale pink organza dress, that can be purchased by clicking on the image.

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?

VGV: I personally love the 1930’s and 1940’s so when I’m looking for items for the shop I do gravitate towards that time frame. I think most of my customers are interested in that era as well, so finding those pieces are always top priority. However, I’m open to most decades as long as it’s an interesting piece. I always look at an item and think about how it can be styled. It might look like nothing special on the hanger, but if you add the right shoes, a belt or a hat, it can be completely transformed. That’s also why I like showing an item on a model. It helps customers visualize the styling and how it might look on them.

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

VGV: I get asked this question almost every day! But it’s find of a secret. I do frequent local flea markets, antique shows and auctions. I’m always on the look out for something interesting!

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

VGV: My favourite time period is the 1930’s and 1940’s. Even before I started wearing clothing from this time, I was very interested in what was happening in the world both socially and politically. I loved that in both decades fashion had to be very innovative due to material shortages and rationing. Designers and home sewers had to be creative with often limited resources but were still able to make some of the most beautiful garments. The prints were also so fun! I’m also very interested in how women participated in WWII and that’s how I came up with the name of my shop, Victory Girl Vintage. 

vintage shop

This BEAUTIFUL 1940s black rayon peplum dress is an utter PERFECTION and had it not been for the fact that it’s a little bit too small for me, it would be now hanging in my closet!You can buy it by clicking on the image. Hurry up it’s not going to stay there for long!

Late 1940s to early 1950s pink “bad girl” sweater blouse, that can be purchased from Victory Girl Vintage Etsy shop by clicking on the image!

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?

VGV: My advice is to build on the wardrobe you already have. Wearing head to toe vintage isn’t for everyone, but mixing vintage and modern is a great way to create a unique look. For example wearing a vintage kimono or robe with a modern t-shirt and jeans can actually look very fashion forward. Coats are also a great first time vintage buy because when you wear them with a modern look it doesn’t scream vintage. I always say don’t be afraid to stand out! You might feel a bit self conscious stepping out of your comfort zone but people will admire you for being unique. 

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

I have many “why did I ever sell that?” items! Here are my top three:

A stunning 1940’s blue rayon gabardine Rain Master trench coat. It fit me perfectly! But I have so many coats that I talked myself into selling it. Immediate regret!

vintage shop

An amazing 1940’s Kamehameha Hawaiian rayon dress. The colours in this dress are gorgeous! I saved the photos I took so I can go back an admire it often.

vintage shop

A 1940’s full length rayon coral gown with teal beads on the bodice. I didn’t want to take this one off after taking photos! I love the vibrant coral colour and zip front style.

Vintage Shop

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

VGV: I actually don’t pay much attention to brands. Of course it’s amazing to find a sought after brand like Catalina, Elsa Schiaparelli or Dior (some of my favourites) and I am looking for labels when hunting for vintage, but I am always happier to find something really special and beautiful even if it doesn’t have a label. It’s more about the piece for me.

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

VGV: The only time you will find me out of vintage is when I’m walking my dog (don’t want to risk muddy paws on a beautiful dress) or going to yoga. I mainly wear clothing from the late 1930’s to mid 1940’s because the cuts and styles suit my body shape the best and it’s a time in twentieth century history that I find very interesting. I love high waisted trousers with a patterned blouse, anything floral and a black dress in a simple silhouette that has some type of embellishments (studs, embroidery, or a decorative trim). I don’t often wear 1950’s but I do have a weakness for a great novelty print and they look so pretty in the summer.

Cult Of Chiffon-Vintage Shop Of The Week

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Madame Chiffon is an extraordinary lady with an exquisite taste reflected in all the vintage gems, that can be found in her shop Cult Of Chiffon. She finds and sells some of the most beautiful pieces of vintage lingerie I’ve ever seen, which is why Cult Of Chiffon is the vintage shop of the week.

1. How did you start your adventure in selling vintage clothes?

I got into vintage clothing by accident, while studying antique furniture to furnish a 1930’s house in Louisiana.  I would be shopping for antiques when suddenly a vintage handbag or jewelry of unusual quality and beauty would catch my eye.  I’d always be shocked at what good value these items were when compared to the prices of their modern day equivalents.  So I started collecting vintage accessories for personal use, which eventually led to vintage clothing and entire outfits.  Once I noticed how much my knowledge in this area had grown in such a short time, I decided in 2013 to turn a passionate hobby into a small business that I could grow over time at my own pace.  So it’s been a labor of love from the very beginning.

vintage jewellery

A pair of gold wire cuff bracelets by Ugo Correani, which are available from Cult Of Chiffon shop. Click on the image to purchase this incredible piece of art!

2.  What can we find in your vintage shop?

Elegant clothing & accessories from the Victorian era through the 1990’s.  Nothing kitsch and no “ironic” fashions.  I carry all eras, because there is elegance and beauty to be found in every decade if you know where to look.  The items I stock are all very wearable and can easily be incorporated into a modern wardrobe.  My specialty would be loungewear, sleepwear, and lingerie, because these are the items of clothing (besides accessories) that I have been collecting the longest and have the greatest knowledge base in.

Vintage lingerie

Gorgeous 1940’s daffodil yellow satin brassiere. Click on the image to be directed to the shop.

vintage lingerie

1940’s peach rayon crepe & lace hostess coat with attached capelet.

3.  Is there a process you go through when selecting garments?  A list of criteria…?

I look for items that are elegant, glamorous, feminine, and timeless.  Quality fabrics and materials, and condition is of utmost importance.  I love to dress women like goddesses, because I am inspired by strong women with a sense of their own power, and especially those with larger than life personalities.  I would define a goddess as someone who is very comfortable in her own skin, has nothing to prove, doesn’t care what others think, and isn’t afraid to express herself.  She knows her body and wears her clothes well, they never wear her.  She wears things that take self-confidence and self-awareness to wear, and wears them effortlessly.  This is my ideal muse.

vintage riding jacket

My personal favourite antique Victorian black velvet & jet bead riding jacket, which can be purchased from Cult Of Chiffon shop by clicking on the image.

vintage hat

Beautiful Oscar de la Renta black velvet & feather hat, which can be purchased by clicking on the image.

4.  Where do you find all those beautiful vintage clothes…?

If I told you, I would have to kill you!  Just kidding, I wouldn’t kill you.  I would pay someone else to do it.

5.   What is your favorite time period and why?

If I had to choose a favorite era, it would be the 1960’s.  Part of the reason being a combination of femininity yet ease of wear for the styles of that decade.  And the huge baubles, huge hair, and dramatic makeup of that time really appeal to the former showgirl in me.  I want my eyelashes to be seen all the way up in the nosebleed seats!  The 60’s were simultaneously a freewheeling time of newfound freedoms for women but also innocence, optimism, and decorum.  I believe you can be wild and decadent but still have good manners and not become too jaded.

Lovely 1960’s chiffon nightdress!

6.  What messages/advise do you have for women who have never bought vintage clothing before?

Invest in a soft measuring tape.  It is indispensable for buying vintage clothing online.  Measure yourself, then memorize your body measurements like you memorize your driver’s license number & social security number, because it will make life easier if you do.  If you want to start building a vintage look, the easiest way is to begin with accessories.  Buy the best quality you can afford.  Start with a quality leather handbag for instance.  It’s a great investment, and you will get much more use out of that than you would a special occasion dress.  Accessories always fit!  If you live in a cold climate, maybe start with a vintage coat.  For instant gratification, nothing is better than vintage lingerie, sleepwear, or loungewear.  You can wear it at home any day of the week, and don’t have to wait for a special occasion.  I wear vintage in the evenings at home and to bed probably 6 days a week.  Everyday, simple luxuries are my favorite as I think they have the greatest impact on your sense of well-being, and therefore your health.

Very stylish 1970’s tapestry coat from England, which can be purchased from Cult Of Chiffon shop by clicking on the image.

vintage poncho

1970’s wool & mohair poncho by Kay Cosseratcan be purchased from Cult Of Chiffon shop by clicking on the image.

7.  What are your 3 favourite items that you have ever sold and why?

My three favorite items sold are: an exceptional Edwardian cotton batiste dressing gown with very witchy sleeves; a 1950’s Vanity Fair loungewear set; and a 1980’s James Galanos fox fur jacket.  I don’t expect to encounter these stunning, ultra glamorous items ever again in my lifetime, and that is part of what makes them so special.

Antique lingerie

Breathtaking Edwardian dressing gown.

vintage lingerie. Vintage shop of the week

Stunning 1950’s Vanity Fair loungewear set.

Victorian mourning cape

Beautiful Victorian feather mourning cape.

8.  What are your favourite vintage brands and are they are very difficult to find?

Lucie Ann, Heavenly Lingerie by Fischer, and Vanity Fair.  Pieces from these labels are not hard to find, but the best examples are, and they come with price tags to match.

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

Yes, I can honestly say I wear vintage almost 365 days out of the year.  The reason why may seem a little eccentric to you.  My hands never see the light of day, because I wear vintage gloves whenever I leave the house during daylight hours.  I even wear fingerless gloves while shooting inventory for the shop, because I photograph in natural sunlight.  My hands are like Dorian Grey.  They have made a pact with the devil to never age.

1950s New Look Inspired Outfit

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To quote fashion historian Jonathan Walford “Feminine luxury and elegance became a symbol of post-war prosperity and defined the silhouette of the coming decade.”

After WWII women were increasingly desiring a return to fashion that accentuated their femininity and for that reason, not surprisingly, “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, full skirts that hung just below the calves-covering legs, along with fitted jacket that emphasised a woman’s sexuality. And for those of you who are unaware of how the name came about, it was the Editor-in-Chief of Harper’s Bazaar, Carmel Snow who we attribute the “New Look” slogan to, as it was she who said at the end of Dior’s very first collection “It’s quite a revolution, dear Christian! Your dresses have such a new look!”

I’ve been looking for the perfect  authentic, vintage New Look skirt with matching jacket, for some years now and I have to admit, that once or twice I got very close to hitting the vintage jackpot and finding my dream 1950s Bar suit but the size wasn’t quite right and with that particular design, the garment has to fit like a glove, so my search, sadly still continues.

Wearing vintage on a daily basis is not always easy, especially when the garments are made of a delicate fabric, which is one of the reason why I like to mix old with new or sometimes (not very often though) I build an entire outfit from contemporary designers inspired by the past like; Vivienne Westwood, Wheels & Dollbaby and a few others who I will write about in the near future.

To create a 1950s New Look, be it with true vintage clothes or those that are inspired by, it’s important to remember, that foundation garment is the key in creating the perfect silhouette. The tiny waist can be achieved with the help of a girdle, which are not difficult to find, are more comfortable than corsets and can be worn every single day. The cone-shaped bullet bra helps to add a cup size to the bust  and looks perfect under tight sweaters. The addition of a petticoat is another important element of the 1950s New Look as it creates a fuller skirt, which makes the waist appear smaller. I’m currently looking for a black petticoat that will go with my Prada skirt, so if anyone happens to know a seller who currently has them in stock, please leave a link in the comment.

For my 1950s New Look inspired outfit I chose:

Wheels & Dollbaby cardigan, which goes with everything! (You can read about the brand here)

Prada skirt, that started it’s life as a dress but I made it better by turning it into a 1950s inspired skirt. 🙂

Authentic vintage girdle with garters. You can find something similar at Cult Of Chiffon shop on Etsy.

Photography; Gregory Michael King
1950s New Look

Wheels and Dollbaby cardigan

Wheels and Dollbaby cardigan

vintage lingerie

Vintage girdle I bought few years ago in Notting Hill.

Wheels and Dollbaby

Wheels and Dollbaby

 

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1940s-1950s Skirt Suit

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Five reasons why I love 1940s -1950s skirt suit:

1)A vintage skirt suit from the 1940s or 1950s is one of the key pieces in the wardrobe of any vintage aficionado and is a perfect acquisition choice for those just starting their adventure in building that dream vintage wardrobe.   

2)1940s fashion was all about the hourglass silhouette; broad shoulders, small waist and full hips, creating a very feminine and sexy, without being vulgar, look. The two-piece suit known as a Victory or Utility suit was born of this tumultuous decade, a now-forgotten casualty of war when raw materials were scarce and clothing factories were turned over to military purposes. It was incredibly popular; a simple design that utilised available fabrics and so was limited to cotton, wool, linen and some synthetics. Read more about  clothing restrictions.!

3)The very flattering A-line skirt suit of this era, allowed women to mix and match skirts, jackets and blouses the way they wanted to; I often mix original vintage skirts with tops and blouses from modern designers, always favouring Wheels & Dollbaby along with Vivienne Westwood. This is precisely the reason why the skirt suit is my top-most contender when searching for vintage clothes. 

4)An even more feminine look, was brought to the world in 1947 by Christian Dior, who started the trend of using luxurious fabrics, in the vast amounts needed to make a full skirt hang just below the calves, mixing it with fitted jackets, thus making the waist appear to be extremely thin and, albeit with the help of a girdle, in all creating what is known as ‘The New Look’. It’s not the full skirt that I want to focus on here but rather the pencil skirt, which I’m incredibly fond of because it’s very comfortable, can be worn to every occasion, is easily dressed up or down with the help of right accessories and again is incredibly sensual, yet elegant. My favourite brand of the 1940s and 1950s that created the most mind-blowing skirt suits is Lilli Ann which, to those already passionate about vintage needs no introduction, for newbies I recommend an article written on the subject matter by the fabulous Jessica Parker of No Accounting For Taste!

5)The real beauty of 1940s and 1950s skirt suits is that, regardless of the season or current trends, which are of no importance to me but are still relevant to those who are in the process of finding their ‘look’, help to create a very sophisticated, sexy or reserved look, depending on what your aim is and they look great on everyone no matter what height or body shape you are!

Lilli Ann Ads

My dream Lilli Ann skirt suits.

1940s-1950s skirt suit- The Look

In the pictures taken by Gregory Michael King I’m wearing:

late 1940s, early 1950s grey suit from Savvy Spinter Vintage.

1930s brooch

1950s dark blue/navy bag

Wittchen brogues

Knee- high socks from Sock Shop UK

Make-Up:

Red YSL lipstick

YSL eyeshadow

Bobbi Brown natural brow shaper & hair touch up in auburn

1940s-1950s skirt suit

I’m a proud owner of this beautiful late 1940s -1950s skirt suit purchased from Melissa’s Etsy shop; Savvy Vintage Spinster. I pared it with a dark blue 1950s bag and Wittchen brogues. Photography: Gregory Michael King

1940s-1950s skirt suit

1940s-1950s skirt suit

1940s-1950s skirt suit

Wittchen shoes

Blue and white brogues by Wittchen.

1940s-1950s skirt suit

1940s-1950s skirt suit

You can find amazing 1940s-1950s  skirt suits from shops on Etsy listed here but word of advise, if you see something you like and it’s in your size don’t spend to much time thinking “should I or should I not click the add to basket button” because I can tell you from experience, that beautiful vintage suits sell really fast!

Here are few examples of what is still available to purchase or at least that was the case when I was writing this article!

1950s skirt suit

Beautiful 1950s skirt suit with four pockets and shoulder pads. If it wasn’t for the fact that it’s not in my size you would not have the chance of buying it now. It’s worth mentioning that the suit is currently on sale! Click on the image to be directed to the shop.

 

1950s skirt suit

Lovely 1950s checkered skirt suit, which you can purchase from Canary Club Vintage shop by clicking on the image!

 

1950s skirt suit

Breathtaking 1940s beaded mauve jacket and skirt by Kline’s Amarillo, medium size. Click the image to be directed to the RagnBone806 vintage  shop!

 

1940s skirt suit

Beyond beautiful, purple 1940s skirt suit with silver studs on the skirt and jacket. It’s very Old Hollywood Glamour and whoever buys it will be one lucky lady! Click on the image to be directed to the Wear It Again Vintage shop!

 

 

1940s skirt suit

Gorgeous 1940s skirt suit in black wool and build up neck-hugging collar. Click on the image to be directed to Vera Mode Vintage shop!

 

Off Broadway – Vintage Shop of the week

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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

Address:

3110 Central SE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87105

505-268-1489; offbroadway66@gmail.com

http://www.offbroadwayvintage.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

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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

 

https://simplyvintageco.com/

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?

 

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