Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Poodle Pondering's: Dressing Vintage

To dress vintage, or not to dress vintage, that is the question. (Sorry Hamlet. HaHa!)

Or at least it's a question I get asked a lot. Along with, "do you dress like that everyday?" and "Where do you buy your vintage clothes?"

I think my answers disappoint most people, because you see, I don't dress vintage.


I know, I know poodles, this is supposed to be a Guide to Vintage Style!

But wait! It's a Procrastinator's Guide remember?!

It's not that I don't love vintage clothing, because I positively do! Often times I miss out on a fabulous outfit because I simply take too long to purchase it, and someone else snaps it up. I also have an odd body shape, which doesn't always make vintage a possibility for me.

That doesn't mean I stop looking though, because I do adore vintage clothing. I look in our local shops, and I scour Etsy. I purchase vintage reproduction clothing from online sites. And I try to at least include one vintage accessory in whatever outfit I'm wearing; whether it be a cardigan, handbag, jewelry, or hat.

But most of the time, I buy my clothes at... Target. Uh huh, Target.

It's easy, it's cheap, it's a Procrastinator's dream! The goal is to find pieces that would work in the era you are searching for; and then it is all about the styling! That rule holds true for wherever you shop.

I've found perfectly cuffed, high-waisted capri's in Target's "mom" jeans section. They sell plain and embelished cardigans that look straight out of the 50's. I've purchased back-seam stockings at Target, and darling black ballet flats. I own a charming cable knit sweater skirt from there, about which I'm always asked, "What vintage shop did you find your skirt at?" Even my recent Downton outfit was mainly composed of pieces found at my local Target this past summer.

Jeans- Target, peplum sweetheart top &
bow head wrap- Forever21,
shoes- Bass- Bowers, Getaway handbag- Lux de Ville

Cloche hat from Etsy, loafers from Target,
and knee-high socks from
another awesome poodle, Gumball Poodle!

Top- Gap, jean capris- Target, Converse one-star-
Target, bow head wrap- Forever21,
vintage sunglasses- Etsy

I'm not a fan of big box chain stores in general; the quality of the clothes as well as the lack of originality is scandalous! So I do not get all my clothes from Target, but I do get a big chunk of my everyday, run-to-the store, pick up my kid, outfits from them.

The rest of my wardrobe is primarily made up of vintage reproduction dresses from the likes of Bernie Dexter, Bettie Page Clothing, Etsy sellers, and my all-time favorite, Trashy Diva. Gorgeous, perfectly recreated styles from the 40's and 50's; some even cut straight from a vintage pattern. I love to wear dresses, and their dresses love every inch of my 4'10', short-waisted, large-chested frame! It's a win-win!

These two charming dresses are from Etsy sellers Jack's Daughter
and Dig for Victory!
The shoes are Poetic Licence- Summer Hoopla.

The darling dresses above have been worn to death
every summer since being purchased,
back when Isaac Mizrahi still designed for Target.
Pre-2008 sort of vintage!
shoes- Nicole- Petals

Two-tone shoes go with ANY vintage look!
Like these dresses from the fabulous Trashy Diva!
two-tone ballet flat- Yosi Samra

If you do buy vintage, or even if you order vintage repro online, KNOW YOUR MEASUREMENTS!! I cannot emphasize that enough! It may not be convenient to try on the vintage clothes, or maybe you dread dressing rooms like I do; either way, carrying a tape measure and knowing your exact sizing, can spare you much heartache.

A note about measurements: Disregard all those images online shops have regarding measuring your body. Those never work for me. Take pieces of clothing that fit you WELL, lay them flat, and measure the front waist, bust, under bust, shoulders, hips, everything! And then double to get the total measurement around. Know your inseam as well, and the length of dress you prefer from shoulder to knee, or to mid-calf.

Never underestimate the importance of accessories! A hat or hair accessory, vintage earrings or brooch, a scarf, or handbag; these items can make or break a look! And don't forget your shoes!!! Nothing is worse than seeing someone in a delightful outfit, only to have it ruined by the wrong shoes!

Use hats, bows, and flowers in your hair-
and don't forget Snoods!!

I dress "vintage" because I'm partial to those years that the clothing came from. I'm passionate about the hairstyles, the makeup, and the clothes that have come to be synonymous with the eras of the 20's-50's. I daydream about the women of those times and how they lived; of days gone by and of the heyday of my grandparents. I'm wild about old movies! And most of the time, you can hear the sweet sounds of great artists like Ella, Frank, or Dean, floating through my windows. I know that I don't have to wear an "original" piece, to engender that feeling of nostalgia.

Coco Chanel said, "Fashion fades, only style remains the same." So don't let anyone tell you that you HAVE to wear vintage to be a vintage gal. Wear what you love and what looks good on you! Add in some vintage accessories if you like. And style, style, style! When your hair and makeup are done in a vintage mode, and you throw on your vintage inspired clothes, people will think you are vintage. From your cute victory rolled head to your two-tone shoes, you'll be the most stylish Poodle on the block!!!


  1. You're so sweet friend!! You know who would die if you dressed vintage! HaHaHa! xoxo

  2. Target! Ha! That cracks me up. But you do it so well!

    1. Thanks! ;-) People seriously think I'm joking when I say Target, but I really do shop there the most. I hate malls and dressing rooms- and they have a great return policy! So I can experience the horror of trying on clothes in my own mirror! HaHa!

  3. Best blog yet. Great tip about measurements. Love how you showed pairings. Loved It!

    1. Thank you! I learned those measurement tips from the greatest shopping site of all- Etsy! It helps so much when you have an odd body type to know what fits good and to stick with it! xoxo