Want to shop vintage-inspired fashion online?

A 1940s style dress from Trashy Diva.

Maybe because I’m known to wear huge hair flowers and polka-dot halter dresses, it’s no secret that I’m in love with fashions of the past. And I don’t think I’m the only one either.

Shows like “Mad Men,” “Pan Am” and “Boardwalk Empire,” light up the small screen with weekly tributes to retro style. Burlesque star Dita Von Teese is set to launch a vintage-inspired dress line in Australia this November and critics are already buzzing about Michelle Williams’ impersonation of ’50s icon Marilyn Monroe in the upcoming film “My Week With Marilyn.” Modcloth.com, an online retailer which specializes in vintage-inspired and indie designs is now a $50 million dollar company, proving that vintage-inspired wear is here to stay.

It’s not that I don’t like actual vintage wear. It’s just that hunting through musty thrift stores can be exhausting. And it really bites when you find something you love and it’s not in your size!

So I’ve accumulated retro-style clothing from various boutiques– Bygones in Richmond, Virginia and Smak Parlour in Philadelphia are two of my favorites. Some of the dresses I’ve bought I literally cannot wear without getting a compliment (not that I need them when I already feel fabulous by wearing such timeless styles). But when I can’t drive to big cities to find my favorite type of clothing, I browse a number of vintage-inspired fashion websites to get my fix.

Check out these websites if, like me, you’re in love with the styles of Audrey Hepburn or Grace Kelley, or if you just want a pop of vintage glamor in your closet:

ModCloth.com, a great website with loads of awesome fashion which features free returns and great customer service if you have sizing questions. Actually, many of the clothing items run in junior sizes so make sure to check the lengths of each item so you don’t end up with something more revealing of your legs than you planned on. I’ve bought more dresses than I can count from this site.

Stop Staring! has great clothes that fit like a dream. I love that the unique yet classics styles actually embrace the hourglass shape that so many women have. Plus, all of their garments are made in the USA.

Don’t be fooled by the name, Trashy Diva Clothing is anything but trashy. The New Orleans based company has gorgeous, classic dresses that flatter without being over the top. When I look at this brand’s designs, “elegant” is usually the first word that comes to mind. Many of the styles are work appropriate as well. The prices are a bit steep however, especially since a lot of the clothing appears to be made in China. Check out their sales page for a good deal.

Me wearing the sailor swing dress from Pinup Girl Clothing.

Pinup Girl Clothing uses models that wear sizes from extra small to extra large to showcase pin-up style clothing. All of their lovely house-brand clothing is made in the USA to boot. One downside- many of the designs are suited to women who are over 5’5. So plan on getting your dress hemmed if you’re petite like I am. I recently had to do that when I purchased the sailor swing dress.

Me in a dress I bought from Smak Parlour in Philadelphia.

My favorite boutique in Philadelphia is Smak Parlour. The shop has its own fashion line. I bought a halter dress from Smak Parlour last year. It’s a great dress!

OK, so I haven’t actually bought anything from Whirlingturban. I haven’t even tried on anything from this brand. It’s not because I don’t stare dreamily at Whirlingturban’s website every week. And it’s not because they don’t have awesome reviews or gorgeous clothes. It’s just that their $100-plus dresses are definitely a lot more pricey than what I can afford right now, not to mention the extra shipping expense from the brand’s design studio in Bali! One day. One day. Do you want to be a vintage bride? Check out Whirlingturban’s wedding dresses.

More on vintage fashion:
My results after trying pin curls for the first time

Feast your peepers on vintage style for men in the movie “Inception”

How to wear red lipstick with ease and confidence

Emileigh Clare

Multimedia copy editor at the York Daily Record/Sunday News

6 Responses

  1. April Trotter says:

    A great vintage store that I used to shop at quite a bit is Miss Ruth’s Time Bomb in Carlisle. It’s currently being remodeled and will hopefully come back bigger, better and more packed with vintage clothing, but you can still check out the Etsy store: http://www.missruthstimebomb.com/

  2. Spencer says:

    I love vintage dresses and I love the ones you are wearing! Girl’s got style.

  1. June 20, 2012

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  2. October 3, 2012

    [...] many of my favorite retailers, like Pinup Girl Clothing, make their clothes here in the U.S. I like to know my fashion choices can support our [...]

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  4. December 3, 2012

    [...] no longer styling hair after trims? Why I don’t use a number on a scale to stay motivated Your guide to shopping vintage-inspired dresses online [...]

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