The leaves have officially turned colors this week and the temps have dropped enough to call for digging out my vintage fall/winter clothes. While most of the time I dress casual not-vintage, I do enjoy mixing in vintage or vintage-inspired pieces to give a hint of classic style.
When I originally wrote this article in 2013, I asked three vintage fashion bloggers, who always amaze and inspire me, how to wear my vintage clothes more often. I asked each of them to give us some tips on what vintage or vintage-inspired pieces are essential to an autumn wardrobe. Their advice is still relevant, even if some of the blogs have gone silent.
Please welcome the fabulous Bethany from The Glamorous Housewife (no longer blogging), Brittany of Va-Voom Vintage (still blogging, yeah!), and Jessica of Chronically Vintage (not blogging but her articles are still online).
What’s your favorite decade for vintage in the fall and why?
The Glamorous Housewife: I am always a sucker for the 1950’s, though in the autumn I tend to be inspired by the 1940’s for some reason. Maybe it is due to the more tailored styles, or the wide legged pants. There is just something so natty about the 40’s which makes me think of the fall.
VaVoom Vintage: I really love the 50s for fall and winter fashion. The full-skirted coats in all different colors and adorable knits and hats- what’s not to love? Winter can be a hard time to get dressed when you love vintage so a colorful coat (or two or three) is always something I keep close at hand. I also love 50s winter boots with the fur trim and I get to finally wear all of my vintage gloves!
Chronically Vintage: My whole wardrobe is a pretty equal handed dose of 1940s and 50s attire all year round, but I would say that I often gravitate towards the 1940s a bit more during the chilly fall and winter months because that half of the year tends to be when I wear separates (instead of mostly just dresses and cardigans) more often. From my Freddies repro jeans and overalls to a mix of old and new vintage appropriate long sleeved blouses, my beloved vintage princess coat (a must to fend off the freezing arctic gales that whip across Canada all season) to sturdy mid-century felt chapeaus, I find the season lends itself to a forties slant and I’m more than happy to go with it.
What do you wear in the fall that is vintage or vintage inspired?
The Glamorous Housewife: I consider anything plaid to be essential for fall. I have a few plaid vintage dresses that I wear every time the leaves turn. I am also partial to felt hats from all periods, though I have one from the 1940’s that is my favorite. It is a brown wool felt hat with a leather feather across the front. But my most prized vintage possession is a pink felt tilt hat with a bird on it from the 40’s. It is absolutely stunning in person.
VaVoom Vintage: I wear vintage 24-7 so that’s hard to say. I think that wool skirts, colorful socks, a great pair of boots and a fabulous coat are all essential to a vintage winter wardrobe. I usually start a new knitting project in September so I have something fabulous and handmade to wear in the cold months.
Chronically Vintage: Some of the vintage and vintage appropriate pieces that I turn most often when the mercury starts taking a nosedive again are a-line and ankle length skirts (plus my beloved 1950s black quilted circle skirt), repro denim, skirt suits (I just got an amazing 1950s coral one for my birthday this past July that’s likely going to become a like a winter uniform of sorts for me from here on out), cardigans and sweaters, a classic black knit turtleneck, brogues and Oxfords, classic lace-up leather boots, crinolines (they provide such a great additional layer of warmth on frosty days), and plenty of lovely opaque tights in various autumn/winter hues like grey, black, forest green and cranberry. These are pieces, coupled with a few heavier weight dresses, (outdoor) gloves, scarves, a vintage winter coat, and handbags that will withstand the elements, are the basis of my fall wardrobe year after year.
What are your favorite places to shop for fall clothing?
The Glamorous Housewife: I am a huge fan of Etsy.com, and that is where I buy almost all of my vintage items. I am also always shopping online at Anthropologie.com and ModCloth.com. Anthropologie has gorgeously tailored items that make me giddy with their beauty, and ModCloth gives me the thrill of finding things that are very retro. This year I really would like a gorgeous new coat and a wide legged pair of pants that don’t make my hips look huge.
VaVoom Vintage: I’m a big thrift store shopper! I always buy my vintage off-season because that’s when you snag the really great deals. In August, one of my favorite thrift stores had a 99 cent long sleeve shirt sale so I stocked up on all kinds of colorful cardigans and knits. I also shop off season online. I bought some gorgeous 1950s Gaytees snow boots for a song on ebay last June. Now that winter is nearing, I’ll be on the hunt for summer dresses and blouses.
I also sew a lot of my own vintage inspired clothes. I am crazy-in-love with Wearing History’s overalls/trousers/playsuit pattern. I made the overalls and jeans in denim this summer and am working on finishing a pair of grey corduroy trousers with that pattern. I love to sew with wools, heavy suiting, flannel and corduroy in the winter. I generally do more knitting and crochet in the winter, though. There are loads of great, free vintage knit and crochet patterns out there to make your own winter hats, sweaters, earmuffs and other accessories.
Chronically Vintage: Online, I turn to etsy.com and eBay.com for the majority of my vintage pieces, as there are no vintage clothing shops in my town (or surrounding area). For vintage appropriate garments, Value Village is my first choice – I rarely leave there without at least one new, timelessly lovely cardigan in my shopping bag – which may explain why my cardi collection now tops 30! 🙂
This fall, I’m not planning to do a lot of spending, but one thing – and this is such an ongoing wishlist item for me – that I would truly love to add to my cold weather wardrobe at long last is a pair of vintage or repro winter boots (all the better if they’re fur or faux trimmed). A forties pair, in particular, would be like a vintage footwear dream come true!
My outfit is a blend of vintage and vintage appropriate pieces, including a fun c. 1930s/40s flower adorned straw hat, handmade (by me) 1940s inspired autumn leaf necklace, classic belted cardigan, 1950s pencil skirt and beaded gloves all bought on eBay, 50s corduroy bucket purse purchased on etsy, and a great pair of straw hued Anne Klein heels. I adore dressing for the seasons and really wanted to honour autumn with my ensemble by sporting its palette (and a few festive leaves, too) on that serene, beautiful afternoon.
Thanks, ladies for helping us figure out a vintage wardrobe for fall.