At left, Red & Black Polka Dot Bombshell Dress, Stop Staring! @ Daddy-O’s, $89.95. At right, Veronica Revisited, ReVamp Vintage, $150.00.
The idea for this post came from La Pulga Diva, a great budget fashion blog with a pin-up obsession. We second that obsession, and raise you one retro fashion guide:
While vintage is often less expensive and more environmentally sound, repro clothing (clothing made from or inspired by vintage patterns) offers flexibility. In addition to being available in multiple sizes, reproductions come in the larger sizes of today. Some of our favorite stores:
- Stop Staring!: Fantastic retro/rockabilly-style dresses, available in up to a 26 (3X). The styles come dangerously close to costume, but are sexy and flattering, and great value for the price ($75-$110). Featured in BUST’s June/July issue.
- Daddy-O’s: Largest selection of Stop Staring! dresses on-line, in sizes S-XL, although many dresses also go up to 3X. The separates section is also worth a look, although the shoes, accessories, and purses are aimed at a more specialized, kitsch taste (translation: ugh).
- My Baby-Jo: A wide range of clothing and accessories, including products from Stop Staring! and Besame Cosmetics. Great collection of menswear.
- ReVamp Vintage: More expensive than Stop Staring! or Pin-up Girl, and most items are more appropriate for a theater production than the street. The site is a wonderful vintage resource, however. For Los Angeles residents, the ReVamp salon also has hair and makeup workshops, a cloche construction class, and an afternoon tea with Dita von Teese this July 9th.
- Pin-up Girl Clothing: Sexy designs and reasonable prices, a must-see. Goes way beyond womenswear, offering accessories, lingerie, swim wear, menswear, and gifts.
- Trashy Diva: Nice reproductions, particularly the dresses. Focuses on small-waisted 40s and 50s styles. Expensive (the dresses average around $175-$220).
- *NEW* Red Dress Shoppe: Solid set of well-priced reproduction clothing. Great art as well.
Vintage is often cheap, and, if not dry-clean-only, the most environmentally-friendly clothing you can buy. Vintage sizes run small, so for vintage shopping on-line or off, focus on measurements, not labels. UPDATE:
- Visit our on-line vintage clothing directory for links to some of our favorite vintage stores.
- Peppermint Vintage
- Lullie Vintage (eBay)
- Mama Stone Vintage (eBay): The gorgeous dress at right is currently selling for $37.95. Similar steals abound.
- Thriftwares (eBay): Bidding starts at $9.99 for this store’s fantastic selection of shoes and dresses (they also offer a limited number of separates and accessories). My eyes fell out of my head when I saw this going for less than $10.
Not for the faint of heart. For those with determination and sewing skills, however, these sources offer vintage patterns, vintage fabrics, and vintage fabric reproductions. Also see reconstructed vintage clothes (coming soon).
- Repro Depot: Sells wonderful vintage reproduction fabrics, and other vintage-inspired items (check out the hungry plates). Source for the popular Aloha 60″-ivory fabric at left.
- Revival Fabrics: Sells vintage fabrics only (no reproductions). Also sells vintage “home decorating textiles,” i.e. tablecloths, towels, and placemats.
- Vintage Cat 1950’s Uncut Simplicity Patterns: Nice selection of vintage patterns, $5-$8.
- Vintage Vogue Patterns: Includes vintage hat patterns, prices $8.00-$15.00.
- Secondhand Chic: One of the best fashion/clothing books, period. Incredibly useful.
- Virtual Vintage: I haven’t read this one, but have heard good things about it.
- After a Fashion: For the DIYer. Again, haven’t read it, but have heard great things.
We know there are many links we’ve missed. If you know of other stores or resources, please send us a link below. Thanks!
Also see: Retro Fashion Guide: Complete The Look (accessories, makeup, & hair).
Some good information in the post, thanks.