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About The Vintage Dancer

When you need to find vintage style clothing….

When you need to learn fashion history….

When you need costume help…. VintageDancer is the answer!

Debbie Sessions

Debbie Sessions

Hi! I am Debbie Sessions, and I designed VintageDancer.com to help connect you to vintage style clothing online. We search all over the internet for the best new women’s and men’s vintage style dresses, suits, shirts, hats, shoes, jewelry…everything you could need for a quality costume or personal vintage inspired wardrobe from Victorian to the 1960’s. We don’t carry clothing in a shop or warehouse we simply aggregate (link to) online retailers that do. We research vintage fashions and then hand select every item on our shop pages for their authenticity to the era and appeal to modern tastes. 

1940's dresses at vintagedancer.com

1940’s Dress Shop Page Screenshot

While we do feature some vintage clothing most of our clothing is brand new reproduction or vintage inspired. This provides shoppers with the greatest selection of colors, sizes (yes Plus Sizes!), and prices. Plus you don’t have to wear out your delicate vintage originals.

Check out our most popular shop pages:

For the Dames:

 1920’s Dresses- We also have Flapper/Gatsby dresses, plus size Dresses, and Downton Abbey  dresses. 1920’s syle shoes is also very popular.

1940’s Dresses: For the Pin Up, Bombshell, and WW2 gal

1950’s Dresses and Plus Size Dresses– Retro to swing dresses.

For the Gents:

1920’s Mens clothing– Suits, shoes, hats, and more.

1950’s Saddle Shoes- Black and white shoes for the retro man (and women too)

1950’s Mens Clothes– Bowling Shirts, skinny ties and fedora hats to go with your saddle shoes.

Fashion History You Can Wear

flapper dresses plus sizeShhh I have a confession. I am a  huge history nerd. When I first started dressing in period costumes I had to do some research to figure out what exactly a “Victorian” dress or how a  “Great Gatsby” mens suit differed from today’s. I love researching so much I started to share my findings on the blog. I have a growing collection of fashion history books, original magazine and catalogs,  and countless  vintage snapshots.  These sources help me quickly identify clothing by era and in turn help you put together your own vintage style look.

One thing you will notice with my blog history articles they are practical! Fashions history can be a dry subject when all you read is a history of the high-end designers. What I like to learn and share is fashion of  the everyday people. Why did they like a certain style over another? What colors paired well together? When were the clothes worn? What else was going in society that influenced fashion trends? How can I recreate the vintage look authentically yet within my budget?

All these questions and more are at the heart of every blog post. Here are some of my most popular blog posts:

 Great Gatsby Hat Styles- The most common mens hats of the 1920’s

What Did Women Wear in the 1940’s– Fashion History Overview of the 1940s

Mad Men Clothing- 1960’s style clothing for the ladies and gents who Love MAD MEN

1920’s Patterns- All 1920s vintage, new or inspired patterns for sale online

Titanic Fashion- The history and shopping guide to dressing for a Titanic event

Books!

I write more extensive fashion history and style advice in a few published ebooks. These can take 2 or more years to research, write, edit and find great pictures. They are my labor of love.

1940's Style Guide BookMy first book is the 1940’s Style Guide: The Complete Illustrated Guide to 1940’s Fashion for Women and Men.  To go with that I also have a free mini book 1940’s Fashion for Your body Type. 

I then moved away from the 1940’s and went back to the 1920’s with another free mini ebook 1920’s Fashion for Your body Type followed by, you guessed it, 1920’s Style Guide, but this time I didn’t publish the book (yet). Instead I turned it into a free blog series you can receive by email here.  The series covers fashion history, cultural history, and dressing advice for both women and men. It arrives to you in order so that you don’t miss a single article. Its like reading the book one chapter at a time.

1920s fashion history ebook

Great Gatsby in Fashion

To time everything Great Gatsby in 2013, I also wrote an annotated Great Gatsby in Fashion. Read the complete Great Gatsby novel plus 33 insights and over 60 pictures about 1920’s fashion history. It has been a big hit!

As you can see I love fashion history and I love helping people make sense of it all. If you ever have a fashion history question by all means contact me. I reply to every question, often spending additional hours researching or browsing online shops for the item you need. I am here for you- seriously!

Why did you start VintageDancer.com?

Small Square Logo x 144

Small Square Logo x 144

My love of vintage goes back to looking at my moms collection of vintage family heirlooms and clothing from the early 1900’s to the 1970’s. My mom is pack rat and a walking history book on anything to do with our family. My favorite part of history class was studying people and my favorite time of year was Halloween where I sewed my costumes from scratch. But it wasn’t until after college when a friend invited me to a Victorian ball that I fell in love with historical costuming. Walking into the ball with ladies spinning across the floor in huge Civil War era ball gowns was like dying and going to heaven. I had no idea people dressed up and danced in costume! I was hooked from then on. I studied historical social dance in the San Francisco Bay Area with the man who coined the term “vintage dance,” Richard Powers. I sewed whatever historical costume I could get my hands on. Then I moved to Reno, Nevada where a few years later I met my husband, Oscar.

Oscar was a Swing dancer and had a vast collection of 1940’s style Zoot Suits that he wore regularly  “‘just because” he liked them.  We were a match made in heaven! Since Reno lacked dance events but had plenty of history we just started attending whatever historical themed event we could crash in costume. Historical home tours, Wild West reenactments, 50’s car shows, Great Gatsby festivals, and… well you get the picture. For each event I had to research the era’s clothing and shop for approximate looks at the thrift store (we were poor then and I couldn’t sew fast enough for all the events.) I turned online for information and help buying vintage style clothing and accessories.  Its was tough! The world wide web was not a great help to me. Clothing was out there but it took days of searching to find clothing “that could work” for my costume. Light bulb moment?  Could I help other people find vintage style clothing online faster, easier, cheaper? Could I turn this into a business? You bet I could.

In late 2009 I launched VintageDancer.com. Like all good websites it was slow going at first. I worked every extra hour I could building shop pages, writing blog articles, learning to HTML code again. By day I was working as an Event Coordinator that didn’t pay well and consumed my summer months (the best time of year!)  Eventually the site took off and when Oscar and I started our family I made plans to retire from my job and just run VintageDancer.com while raising our kid(s.)

Our first little vintage dancer was born in April 2012 and our second in December 2014.. I love being a mom, I love being home, and I love having my own business that I am passionate about! Some days are tough. Some months have been very tough but not a day goes by that I am not grateful for starting this website. As of 2015 it is now our family sole income provider. Oscar is working hard behind the scenes designing some new customer software that will make VintageDancer.com bigger and better.Exciting things are coming. We couldn’t be happier.

Business Media Kit

Stats

  • Site Visitors: 25-35K per day, 250-400K per month.
  • Gender: 80% women, 20% men
  • Age: Diverse, 20-60+

Social media (As of January 2015)

  • Facebook: 5,700 fans, growing by 20 a week
  • Twitter: 570 followers
  • Pinterest: 3,500 followers, growing by 70+ per week. 100 pins made from Vintagedancer.com daily, 2000 repins on Pinterest daily. Pinterest is our second highest source of traffic.
  • Google+: 77 followers

PRESS Coverage

I have been featured in a few online business articles. You can read more about my story on ClickNewz and the Story Exchange.  In local newspapers, read articles in the Sparks Tribune , Reno Gazette Journal and Northern Nevada Business Weekly (partial article.) I also gave a business presentation at One Million Cups Reno(video) and podcast interview with Entrepreneurs in Training. I am open to email, phone or video interviews to all members of the media or on topic bloggers.

Pictures!

Here are some pics of me and my family in our vintage inspired costumes plus website screenshots and logos for articles about VintageDancer.com

Questions? Press Inquiries?

Please use the contact form here. 

4 thoughts on “About The Vintage Dancer

  1. Hi Debbie,
    I absolutely LOVE your site! You had mentioned some great sites for fashion history, and I just wanted to add 2: costumesocietyamerica.com and vintagefashionguild.com. These sites might be helpful to you in your research. Thanks again!

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