VillageHatShop.com has incredible scans (link no longer available) from R. Turner Wilcox’s The Mode in Hats and Headdress (1945). The set has 198 plates, including the ones above (right plate is from the book’s final chapter, 1940-1944; the book starts with the Ancient Egyptians).
The swimming cap scan at left comes from a 1960s L’Officiel, which I got at 14th Street Antiques in Atlanta. I’m not sure what part of this image made a bigger impression–the cap, the model’s heroic expression while doning said cap, or the insane amount of makeup. Whatever it was, after seeing that picture, I wanted something similar.
Luckily, after some digging, I came across this petal swim cap (other colors available). I’m sure it will drive all the boys wild this summer.
After reviewing hundreds of stores, I made an edited list of on-line vintage shops. By vintage, I mean both vintage and secondhand/thrift pieces, with a focus on women’s clothing (I may do a housewares version one day–we’ll see!).
I chose stores with interesting stock, acceptable mark-ups, (usually) pleasant websites, and good reputations. I try to update the list every few months, so it stays relevant. However, it’s not an end-all, be-all list: great new sellers pop up every day, and there’s no way I can list them all. Conversely, placement on the list doesn’t guarantee anything, so shop carefully.
The directory is ordered alphabetically and by price range (below). Happy shopping!
|PRICE KEY (avg price per item)$ $0-$30$$ $30-$75
Stunning prices, varied collections. Extremely fun to hunt through.
Spurred by rising fees, more and more vintage sellers have migrated from self-hosted sites and eBay to Etsy. What’s good for sellers is also good for buyers: Etsy stores combine easy to use, reliable interfaces with low prices (plus, no insanity-inducing auctions). Check out the Etsy Vintage Directory for an edited list of sellers.
CHEAP & TRENDY
Slightly pricier than the thrift-store items (often due to auctions), but still easy on your pocketbook.
OTHER VINTAGE & SECONDHAND RESOURCES
These collections were down for maintenance. We’ve heard good things about them, though, so we’ll review them ASAP.
|FASHIONISTA FINDSHigher prices than Cheap & Trendy stores, but still with affordable finds across the board.
SPOILED BY SUCCESS
POSH & LOVELY
Too expensive for most of us, but some truly stunning selections. Prices typically start at $500 (although some only start around $250).
FOR COLLECTORS, COSTUMERS, & HISTORIANS
These stores focus on collector’s items rather than wearables. Prices frequently range between $650-$2000+. Extremely fun to look through.
As a complement to the Retro Fashion Guide: Clothing, here’s a listing of retro make-up, hair, and accessory resources to complete the look. Note: Although donning full retro garb, hair and make-up may be tempting, be sure to dilute the look with something modern. Think Scarlett Johansson, Gwen Stefani, or Dita Von Teese on the red carpet–all retro-inspired looks that are still very today.
- Besame Cosmetics: Started in 2004 by Gabriela Hernandez, Besame Cosmetics is a high-quality line inspired by the pigments and packaging of the 1930s and 40s. The popular Enchanting Lipstick Set is pictured at left.
- ReVamp Vintage: Under Chapter VI (left side), find links to make-up guides for the 1920s & 1930s (no direct links).
- Short and sweet make-up guides to the 1920s, 1930s, & 1940s.
- Here’s a vintage make-up thread on The Fedora Lounge. Products from Besame, Benefit, and MAC received frequent mentions.
- ReVamp Hair: Under Chapter VI (left side), find links to hairstyling guides for the 1910s-1940s (no direct links).
- Hair Archives: A good resource, although the most useful section for DIYers is The Archives.
- Nocturne: The place for finger-wave and pin curl how-tos, among other things.