Friday, 27 June 2014

Under Vintage Clothing: the Proper Foundation

Have you ever wondered why that gorgeous little fifties dress never looks quite the same on you as it did on, say, Marilyn Monroe? The reason is a simple one: real vintage clothing for women was designed for women who wore proper foundation garments under those darling little dresses. That doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to wearing a constricting girdle if you want to look great in 1950s dresses, but a nod to the proper bra, slip and stockings will make a huge difference in your vintage style fashion.

The Down Under

Author +Gail Carriger is also a vintage clothing buff who maintains the blog Retro Rack: Vintage Style in a Modern World where she posts about her love for retro styles and vintage fashion. Among her earliest posts are a three-part series on proper foundation garments. One of the bet takeaways from her little instructional rant is this one:

Slips. Vintage dresses were designed to be worn over slips, and it’s not hard to find vintage slips, usually at the same shops where you find those adorable 50s dresses and other vintage fashion finds. Slips and petticoats are essential to getting vintage skirts to hang and fall properly on your body. A proper swing petticoat with tulle netting gives your skirt the right amount of pouf, while a delicious slinky chiffon slip will ensure that those slim dresses fall just the way they’re meant to, without showing your bra straps and panty lines. And of course, a swing petticoat also doubles as a very sexy little skirt number if you like showing off your naughties in public.

Check out some stunning #vintage lingerie and foundation garments pinned by +Ginny Huxford and vintage garter belts from IfiDiam for more ideas about what to wear under your vintage clothing finds.

What’s up Top UnderVintage Clothing?

Brittany blogs about plus-size vintage clothing at Va-Voom Vintage: A Modern Girl and Her Retro World. As a curvy girl, she has a superior understanding of the importance of proper foundation garments under your retro and vintage style dresses. In her own words:

A supportive bar helps to lift the breast and show off the waist, which gives an elongated look to the torso.
Brittany recommends structured vintage style bras for wear under rockabilly style vintage dresses because they give that “slightly pointy” silhouette the dresses were designed to suit.

The most important thing of all is to wear clothing that feels comfortable on you, and the proper undergarments can help you feel wonderful in your vintage clothing finds.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Rocking Vintage Clothing – Rockabilly Rules and Breaking Them

#Rockabilly is among the hottest of the hot vintage clothing styles out there. The trend takes its ethos from the rebel rock idols of the 1950s, and expresses itself in a variety of 50s dresses, cat-eye glasses, flashy-trashy hair and body art. Rocking a vintage fashion style like rockabilly is about more than picking up a few 1950s dresses and throwing them on. There’s a whole ethos that goes along with the rockabilly look – call them Rockabilly Rules – and understanding the different ways to wear the style can help you create an authentic vintage fashion look that’s yours and yours alone.

The Clothes

Rockabilly goddess @ReeReeRockette is a well-known fashion blogger posting at Rockalily. As proprietor of Rockalily Cuts, a his & hers salon, ReeRee totally gets what makes the Rockabilly look rock. When she posts about what rockabilly girls wear, you know she’s speaking from a place you can trust. ReeRee’s first rule of Rockabilly Retro fashion is to pick and mix from the Rockabilly rules. After all, that’s the only way you’ll end up with your own style.

50s Dresses – Styles that rock: Sarong dresses, halter-necked dresses, swing skirts and pencil skirts
Pants/Trousers –The look is slim, so go for cigarette pants, crop trousers and pencil slim silhouettes.
Rockabilly Prints – Prints make a statement. Look for 50s dresses and skirts splashed with polka dots or styled with leopard prints. You get bonus points if you can find vintage clothing printed with cherries, cute little anchors, bows or jaunty little skulls.
The Colors - The classic rockabilly colors are red, black, blue and white, but you might see some fab retro fashion finds in bright pink, turquoise or dark green.

The Accessories

The clothes are just the start. If you really want to rock the rockabilly vintage style, you’ve got to accessorize it right. That means:

Glasses: if you wear them, opt for vintage styles, especially cat-eye glasses with little rhinestone chips at the winged brow
Jewelry: Cheap and cheerful Bakelite pieces are the ultimate accessories for 50s dresses and skirts. Look for cherry dangle earrings, bright square pendants and flashy bangles or charm bracelets.
Hair: 50s vintage hair was meant to be accessorized. The classic beehives, rolls and updos just scream to be adorned with a bow or bandanna. Not sure how to tie one? Learn how with this great vintage fashion tutorial from +PinUpPassion.

Whether you decide to follow the rules or not, remember that the most important part of wearing vintage clothing rockabilly style is to have fun doing it, so just rock on with your bad self and have fun.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Vintage Clothing: 1960s Vintage Designers and Styles

The 1960s are one of the favorite decades for vintage clothing fanciers, and no wonder. The Swinging Sixties were a turning point for so many facets of society, and it was all reflected in the fashions of the day. +Paul Phipps, an expert in vintage clothing of all kinds, refers to the ‘60s fashion as “bi-polar,” pointing out that the early 1960s were conservative, restrained and classic, before the psychedelic design aesthetic figuratively exploded with all the subtlety of a Peter Max poster. In fact, you can divide ‘60s vintage fashion into three distinct segments: the Jackie Kennedy suburban look of the early 1960s; the Mod look of the mid-60s; and the anything-goes anti-designer ethic of the late 1960s. Today, retro designers tend to emulate the two earlier vintage fashion periods, but there’s a lot to be said for all three vintage style tropes.

Early 1960s Vintage Dresses and Suits

The early 60s were characterized by the matchy-matchy syndrome. Fashion designers took the “complete look” to its ultimate conclusion, creating entire ensembles that matched, from chapeau to shoe. It was the era of the perfectly coifed suburban housewife in her pillbox hat, boxy jacket and straight skirt, accessorized with matching gloves, shoes, belt and purse. The major exception was Hubert Givenchy, whose designs for #Audrey Hepburn’s Holly Golightly (Breakfast at Tiffany’s) introduced the little waif look that was to become so popular and exaggerated later in the decade.  The wide, swingy skirts and dirndl designs of 1950s dresses was passé – sophistication, as characterized by slim silhouettes, tweeds and leather were all the rage.

Mid-1960s Vintage Style Fashion

Of course, fashion could only stand that kind of restriction for a few years before revolution would necessarily break out. By 1964, the fashion industry insisted that women were demanding a return to the “feminine,” and designers were happy to provide it. The swingy skirts of fifties dresses were back, though they featured both less fabric and less swing. As hemlines climbed to the knee and above, textured stockings became more and more popular. And in an effort to give femininity a real workout, Coco Chanel brought back the hair bow and the perfect outfit topper.

The fashion pendulum swung back and forth several times between 1964 and 1968. The ruffles and lace of ’64 swung to the pared-down poor boy look of ’65. Balenciaga, he of the fabulous fifties dresses for formal occasions, created a ball gown with one bare shoulder which lit up runways like wildfire. It was in 1966, though, that the real fashion revolution happened as the London Mod designers took over the pages of the fashion magazines. Miniskirts, mod tights, Carnaby jackets and fishnet stockings all characterize ‘60s vintage fashion more than any other style of the long decade.

Late 1960s Vintage Clothing

In 1968, fashion icon Twiggy hit the scene and the world would never be the same. Mary Quant took the Holly Golightly look, shortened it, brightened it and added hardware to turn the whole fashion world on its head. If London designers had declared a revolution against traditional fashion in ’65, though, consumers declared their independence of fashion designers as the decade came to a close. When it came to style, it was all about self-expression.  Men and women alike mixed and matched fabrics, patterns, colors and designers with abandon. They dug into Grandma’s attic and pulled out mom’s poodle skirts and 1950s dresses as inspiration, and created their own individual style.

Friday, 6 June 2014

The Hottest Names to Look for in 1950s Designer Vintage Clothing

The 1950s is a perennial favorite among #vintage clothing fanciers – and with good reason. The silhouettes were iconic, the designers were high-profile and the clothing was fabulous. After the austere 1930s and the rationing imposed by the war years in the 1940s, the ‘50s ushered in a new era of femininity and opulence. The design trends in 1950s dresses celebrated the female form with glamorous fabrics, glitzy accessories and all the frills and furbelows for which haute couture is famous. Whether you’re going for the glam for a night at the Grammies or a wedding, you can’t go wrong with vintage dresses in the style of any of these iconic vintage clothing designers.


#Cristobal Balenciaga’s opulent gowns and women’s suits personified the glamour of the fifties style dresses with gorgeous fabrics and styles that emphasize the feminine form. They were characterized by open décolleté, narrow waists and sweeping skirts in lace, chiffon and stunning satins.Original vintage clothing by Balenciaga is hard to find and prohibitively expensive, but you can often find retro clothing in the style of Balenciaga’s golden years.

Christian Dior

Perhaps no designer captured the evening glamour quite as well as Christian Dior. Dior’s New Look 1950s dresses featured yards and yards of lush fabrics, feminine prints and silhouettes designed to show off the classic hourglass figure. Check out the stunning vintage dresses in this YouTube vintage clothing clip previewing Dior’s 1952 Spring/Summer line to get a feel for the classic Dior 1950s vintage clothing style. Then check out today’s modern Christian Dior Twitter feed  (@Dior ) to see just how well the classic Dior endures throughout the decades.

Pierre Balmain

Luxurious, sweeping skirts, off-the-shoulder silhouettes and stunning floral prints characterized the 1950s dresses of designer Pierre Balmain. The icon of #50s fashion worked closely with Christian Dior before opening his own fashion house in 1945. His fifties dresses designs were sculptured, but had a more delicate, ladylike aesthetic than either Dior or Balenciaga.

Other 50s Vintage Clothing Styles

One of the most enduring fifties style dressesis the classic rockabilly dress. The shirtwaist bodice, nipped waist and belled skirt appeared in dozens of Hollywood films on such stars as Marilyn Monroe, the classic 1950s pinup girl, who is shown in some stunning shots at +MarilynMonroeSlide. Whether you choose vintage designer fashion or generic 1950s vintage clothing styles, you can’t go wrong if you model yourself on the original divine Miss M.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

5 Ways to Wear a Vintage Bodycon Skirt

A vintage bodycon skirt is a must-have wardrobe essential. I'd recommend a black one for ultimate versatility all year round. At My Vintage, we have lots of styles, colours, textures and sizes of vintage bodycon skirts all year round so you are sure to find one that is just right.

They are high quality, flattering for any shape and cost less than £20!

If you're not yet convinced on how much you need one of these stretchy little wonders then here is my top 5 ways to wear one... (thanks to our current work experience girl Abby for her help!)

1. Shopping with Friends.
Styled with pink reworked tie knot top (size 10/12 - £18) and vintage Frank Usher cropped quilted jacket (size 12/14 - £85)

2. Office Chic
Styled with 70s vintage pussybow blouse (size 10 - £16) vintage black satchel bag (£20) retro geek glasses (£5) and vintage Karl Lagerfeld shoes (size 6.5/7 - £75)

3. Girls Night Out
Styled with vintage Frank Usher long sleeved sequin top (size 8/10 - £65) and black patent Shilton handbag (£15)

4. Sunday Stroll
Styled with 60s vintage striped shirt (size 12 - £18) jade green vintage bag (£14) and blue retro sunglasses (£10)

5. Lunch Date
Styled with vintage giraffe print blouse (size 16/18 - £18) black patent croc bag (£18) and round retro sunglasses (£10)

I'm sure you'll agree you need one of these bodycon skirts in your life right now! Visit our vintage shop in Darwen to try a few on, or delve into for the vast online selection...

Over and out