When you need to find vintage style clothing….
When you need to learn fashion history….
When you need costume help…. VintageDancer is the answer!
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 1980s. 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.
While we do feature some vintage clothing, most of our clothing is brand new vintage 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:
1940s Dresses – For the Pin Up, Bombshell, and WWII gal.
For the Gents:
1950s Saddle Shoes – Black and white shoes for the retro man (and women too)
1950s Men’s Clothes – Bowling shirts, skinny ties and fedora hats to go with your saddle shoes.
Fashion History You Can Wear
Shhh, 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 was or how a “Great Gatsby” men’s suit differed from today’s. I love researching so much that I started to share my findings on the blog. I have a growing collection of fashion history books, original magazines and catalogs, and countless vintage snapshots. These sources help me quickly identify clothing by era and in turn help you put together your own accurate vintage style look.
One thing you will notice with my blog history articles is that they are practical! Fashion 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 men’s hats of the 1920s
What Did Women Wear in the 1940s – Fashion history overview of the 1940s
Mad Men Clothing – 1960s style clothing for the ladies and gents who love MAD MEN
1920s Patterns – All 1920s vintage, new, or vintage inspired patterns for sale online
Titanic Fashion – The history of and shopping guide to dressing for a Titanic event
Books! by the VintageDancer
I have written extensive fashion history and style advice in a few published eBooks and free email courses for other decades of fashion:
My first book was the 1940s Style Guide: The Complete Illustrated Guide to 1940s Fashion for Women and Men. It is still available as an eBook ($9.99) or printed book ($14.00). Since its first publication, I have put most of the chapters online and revised/updated them. You can read them in the 1940s Style Guide email series for free. I leave the book available for sale for those who want to carry a copy with them.
To go with that I also have a free mini book 1940s Fashion for Your Body Type (women).
I then moved away from the 1940s and went back to the 1920s with another free mini eBook 1920s Fashion for Your Body Type (women) followed by, you guessed it, 1920s 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. It is like reading the book one chapter at a time.
I also have a 1950s Style Guide email series. This one is only about women’s fashion in the 1950s. Over 40 articles will delivered to your inbox, one every other day.
Great Gatsby in Fashion eBookTo time everything Great Gatsby in 2013, I also wrote an annotated The Great Gatsby in Fashion. Read the complete Great Gatsby novel plus 33 insights and over 60 pictures about 1920s fashion history. It has been a big hit!
Curious about all fashion decades? Subscribe to the regular blog list which shares new articles to your email. Topics range from Victorian to 1970s vintage fashion for women and men.
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?
My love of vintage goes back to looking at my mom’s collection of vintage family heirlooms and clothing from the early 1900s to the 1970s. My mom is a 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 own 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 1940s 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, 50s 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 with 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). In 2014 when our second was born, Oscar was able to join me full time on the business. He is responsible for a lot of technology that runs behind the scenes as well as being my male model 🙂
Our first little vintage dancer was born in April 2012 and our second and third arrived in 2014 and 2016. I love having my own business that I am passionate about and gives me a break from changing diapers! Some days are tough, and some months have been very tough, but not a day goes by that I am not grateful for starting this website.
Business Media Kit
- Site Visitors: 400K per month and growing
- Gender: 80% women, 20% men
- Age: Diverse, 20-60+
Social media (As of January 2015)
- Facebook: 9,000 fans, growing by 20 a week
- Twitter: 841 followers
- Pinterest: 31,000 followers, growing by 250+ per week. Pinterest is our second highest source of traffic.
- Instagram: 1,600 and growing leaps and bounds
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.
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?
Frequently asked questions such as help with research, sizing/shipping, selling your items, ect can be found here.
Otherwise, please use the contact / comment form below.