Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Vintage Capsule Wardrobe

Yesterday's post ("every vintage girl needs a bombshell dress...") got me to thinking about what other essential pieces a vintage gal's wardrobe should contain - what are the must-haves of vintage style? Something I should probably consider, as I try to build up my vintage wardrobe.
  1. The Tailored Suit. I'm still working on this one - it's hard to find anything big enough in the bust while still small enough on the waist.
  2. The Pencil Skirt. I've got two - one black satin, which I love to wear (I don't believe in reserving black satin for eveningwear). I also have one in subtle plaid check.
  3. The Circle Skirt. Still working on this one too! I would love a red and white candy stripe one.
  4. The Sweater. I saw a fabulous 1930s sweater on ebay recently, with a picture of a skier knitted into it.
  5. The Demure Blouse. Mine's a 1940s silk blouse with cutwork decoration, it used to belong to my grandmother. I'm waiting for Spring so I can wear it!
  6. The Bombshell Dress.
  7. The Little Black Cocktail Dress. Pick an era, any era! 20s flapper, 30s elegance, 40s vamp, 50s bombshell, 60s mini - it's all good. I've ordered a 1950s crepe and satin number with a big bow, just waiting for it to arrive.
  8. The Full-skirted dress. Can there be a more flattering style? I have a couple of late 40s gabardine full-skirted dresses which I adore - need more for spring/summer.
  9. The Shirtwaister. Flattering, comfortable, versatile, and available in myriad colours and prints - this might be a good one to get the essential floral print into the mix.
  10. The Overcoat. Obviously, otherwise we'd get cold. I have two coats, neither of which are original vintage (for some reason coats only ever come up in very small sizes - did larger ladies have better resistance to cold or something?). I've a black princess coat with corded buttons from the ever-reliable M&S, and a fun periwinkle blue polka dot jacket from White Stuff (warning - this website will make you want to spend money).
  11. Black Mary Janes. Comfortable and versatile.
  12. Hats, of course. I would say a pillbox, a beret, and some sort of whimsy or fascinator are the basics.

I keep wanting to add more! Where do you stop? I do feel that every girl ought to have a polka dot dress. And a peasant blouse is always useful for pin-up style. And some sort of tweed skirt should probably feature in any self-respecting vintage lass's wardrobe. And can a wardrobe really be considered complete without a wrap dress?... What do you think? What wardrobe staples could you not live without?

Photo from The Vintage Rose.


  1. This is great! All in one list.
    What's particularly exciting is that I can reuse some of my existing high street clothes with the right brooches and belts a lots of red lippy! I shall be sending my blog readers here!!!

  2. I'm new to this vintage lark, but I have the same problem - I'm an inverted triangle and go from a size 18 bust, 14 waist and slinky size 12 hips!

    I have a small head on this 5'8" frame so hats are tricky. I bought myself a beret and looked like Pearl from Last of the Summer Wine.

    But I don't give up.



I'd love to hear your thoughts!


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