FAQs on Starting A Vintage Clothing and Accessories Collection

FAQs on Starting A Vintage Clothing and Accessories Collection

Vintage styles have been trending for a long time now - and that trend isn't going away any time soon but beginning to work some vintage pieces into your every day wardrobe can be a daunting task!

 Whether you're a seasoned vintage aficionado or a total beginner, this comprehensive guide answers your FAQs about vintage fashion and helps you turn contemporary clothing into a vintage masterpiece.

How to Achieve a Vintage Look with The Right Accessories and Footwear

Accessories: The key to achieving a vintage look often lies in the details. Incorporate vintage-inspired accessories such as gloves, hats, brooches, and scarves. A vintage handbag can instantly transport your outfit to another era. Pay attention to the era you're emulating and choose accessories that were popular during that time.

Footwear: The right shoes can make or break your vintage look. For a 1920s or 1930s style, consider T-strap or Mary Jane heels. The '50s calls for kitten heels or saddle shoes, while the '60s leans towards Mary Quant's iconic ankle boots. Don't underestimate the power of a pair of classic pumps or oxfords; they can complement various vintage styles.

What Cuts for Dresses, Skirts, and Trousers to Look for in Vintage-Inspired Outfits

Dresses: For a vintage dress, look for A-line silhouettes from the '50s or wiggle dresses for a '40s feel. A drop waist with a straight cut can channel the 1920s. Sweetheart necklines and shirtwaist dresses are also iconic choices. Pay attention to the fabric; silk and lace for the '20s, cotton for the '40s, and full, swishy skirts for the '50s.

Skirts: Choose high-waisted pencil skirts for a 1950s look, and for the 1940s, go for A-line or pleated styles. The '60s welcomes mini-skirts with bold prints. Don't forget the classic circle skirt, an embodiment of '50s femininity.

Trousers: High-waisted, wide-leg trousers are reminiscent of the 1930s and 1940s. Capri pants with a 1950s feel are also an excellent choice. The '60s introduced us to the iconic bell-bottoms and mod-inspired straight-leg trousers.

Who Were The Most Glamorous Women of the 50s?

The 1950s was a decade of glamorous fashion in the entertainment industry. Here are 10 famous female actresses and singers from that era who were widely known for their impeccable style and glamorous fashion choices and who you can definitely take some inspiration from! 

  1. Audrey Hepburn: The epitome of elegance and sophistication, Audrey Hepburn is renowned for her timeless fashion, especially her iconic black Givenchy dress in "Breakfast at Tiffany's."

  2. Marilyn Monroe: Marilyn's sensuous style, including her form-fitting dresses and red lipstick, made her a fashion icon of the '50s.

  3. Grace Kelly: Before becoming Princess Grace of Monaco, she was a Hollywood star known for her refined style and was the muse for Hermès' Kelly bag.

  4. Elizabeth Taylor: Known for her opulent fashion sense, Elizabeth Taylor's love for diamonds and extravagant gowns made her a fashion legend.

  5. Dorothy Dandridge: As the first African-American actress to be nominated for an Academy Award, Dorothy Dandridge's elegant and glamorous style broke barriers.

  6. Doris Day: Doris Day's wholesome yet fashionable style resonated with many in the '50s and '60s, including her signature pastel ensembles.

  7. Ava Gardner: Known for her sultry beauty, Ava Gardner's fashion choices, from figure-hugging dresses to tailored suits, exuded Hollywood glamour.

  8. Peggy Lee: The sultry jazz singer Peggy Lee was known for her glamorous stage presence and her elegant gowns, often with fur stoles.

  9. Lana Turner: Lana Turner was a style icon with her signature pencil skirts, tailored blouses, and glamorous evening gowns.

  10. Sarah Vaughan: The legendary jazz singer Sarah Vaughan was celebrated not only for her vocal prowess but also for her glamorous stage attire, often adorned with sequins and pearls.

How to Adapt Vintage Styles through the Seasons

Spring: Embrace the flirty 1950s with a floral tea-length dress and a petticoat. Spring is the perfect season for pastel colours and light, flowing fabrics. Opt for a sweetheart neckline to add a touch of romantic charm.

Summer: Go for a 1940s halter-neck swimsuit for the beach. For an evening soirée, a '50s sundress or a '60s shift dress can keep you cool while maintaining vintage appeal.

Autumn:* Channel autumnal elegance with a '30s-inspired high-waisted skirt paired with a long-sleeved blouse and a cardigan. Add a beret for a classic touch.

Winter: Keep warm with a 1950s swing coat in a rich, deep colour, like burgundy or emerald green. A '40s-style trench coat or a '60s mod-inspired jacket can also elevate your winter look.

Classy Vintage Outfit Ideas for Weddings and Seasonal Holidays

Weddings: For a vintage wedding, choose an A-line gown with lace details for a '50s vibe, or a sheath dress with gloves for a sophisticated '60s look. Vintage-inspired birdcage veils and statement headpieces are a must.

Christmas: Embrace the holiday spirit with a 1950s-inspired swing dress in a festive colour, like red or green. A '40s-style jumpsuit can add a touch of elegance to your Christmas Eve celebrations.

Thanksgiving: Look 

Is It Expensive To Collect Vintage Clothing?

The cost of building a vintage-inspired clothing collection can vary widely depending on several factors, including your preferences, sourcing methods, and budget. Here are some considerations that can impact the expenses:

  1. Authentic Vintage vs. Vintage-Inspired: If you aim to collect authentic vintage pieces, the cost can vary significantly. Rare or designer vintage items can be quite expensive, while more common or less sought-after pieces may be more affordable. Vintage-inspired clothing, on the other hand, can often be found at a lower cost since it is newly produced and widely available.

  2. Sourcing: Where and how you source your vintage clothing can also affect the cost. Thrift stores, flea markets, and online vintage shops may offer varying price ranges. Anticipate that authentic vintage pieces from specialty shops or high-end vintage boutiques may come with a higher price tag.

  3. Condition: The condition of vintage items can greatly influence their price. Pristine, well-preserved vintage pieces are usually more expensive, while items that show wear or minor imperfections may be more budget-friendly.

  4. Designer Labels: Vintage clothing from well-known designers or high-end brands can be more expensive. If you're specifically interested in building a collection with designer pieces, be prepared to invest more.

  5. Alterations and Repairs: If you purchase vintage clothing that needs alterations or repairs, factor in the cost of tailoring or restoration work. This expense can add up, especially if you want to ensure the pieces fit and look their best.

  6. Frequency of Purchases: The pace at which you accumulate pieces for your collection will also impact the total cost. If you're regularly acquiring vintage items, the cumulative expenses can add up over time.

  7. Reproduction and Vintage-Inspired Pieces: To reduce costs, you can consider incorporating vintage-inspired or reproduction clothing into your collection. These items are often more affordable than authentic vintage and offer a similar aesthetic.

  8. Accessories: Don't forget to budget for vintage-inspired accessories to complete your look. Vintage-inspired jewellery, handbags, hats, and shoes can be found at various price points.

In conclusion, the cost of building a vintage-inspired clothing collection can vary widely depending on your preferences and how you approach collecting. If you're on a tight budget, it's possible to curate a stylish collection without breaking the bank by carefully selecting your sources, considering vintage-inspired options, and gradually expanding your collection over time

What Did Women Wear as Lingerie in the 40s and 50s? 

In the 1940s and 1950s, women's lingerie underwent notable changes, reflecting the fashion and societal norms of the time. Here's an overview of what women typically wore as lingerie during these decades:

1940s Lingerie:

  1. Bras: Brassieres of the 1940s were often designed for practicality and support. Bullet bras with conical-shaped cups were popular, providing a more pointed silhouette. Wireless bras and soft-cup bras were also common, featuring adjustable straps for comfort.

  2. Girdles and Corsets: Foundation garments like girdles and corsets were frequently worn to create a smooth, hourglass figure. These pieces were often made from elastic or satin material and featured boning for structure and shaping.

  3. Panties: Panties were high-waisted and provided full coverage. They were typically made from cotton or satin and were available in a variety of styles, including briefs, tap pants, and French knickers.

  4. Slips and Petticoats: Slips and petticoats were worn under dresses and skirts to add volume and provide modesty. They were often made from silk or nylon and came in various lengths, from full slips to shorter half-slips.

  5. Stockings and Garter Belts: Women commonly wore stockings made of silk or nylon, which required garter belts to hold them in place. These garter belts were often adjustable to ensure a secure fit.

1950s Lingerie:

  1. Bras: The 1950s brought a shift to a more rounded, natural bust shape. Cone bras became less common, replaced by softer, more natural-looking bras with underwire support. Strapless bras also became popular to accommodate strapless dresses.

  2. Girdles and Shapewear: Girdles and other shapewear remained popular in the 1950s, helping women achieve a small waist and rounded hips. However, the silhouettes became more hourglass-shaped compared to the more structured styles of the '40s.

  3. Panties: Panties in the 1950s maintained their high-waisted style and full coverage. They were often adorned with lace or ribbon trim and came in a variety of colours to match bras or other lingerie.

  4. Slips and Petticoats: Slips and petticoats continued to be essential undergarments, with a focus on maintaining a smooth, polished look under the full skirts and dresses of the time.

  5. Nylon and Silk: The 1950s saw the widespread use of luxurious materials like nylon and silk for lingerie. These fabrics were comfortable and had a sensuous feel, and they were often chosen in delicate, feminine colours.

  6. Lingerie Sets: Matching lingerie sets became more common in the 1950s, with bras and panties designed to complement each other in terms of colour and style. This emphasis on coordinated sets added to the overall elegance of women's undergarments.

Both decades witnessed a strong emphasis on feminine, polished, and structured lingerie that contributed to the overall silhouette of the fashion of the time. The 1950s, in particular, saw a move towards more natural and rounded bust shapes, reflecting a shift in societal norms and women's fashion preferences.

How to Do and Wear 50s Makeup

Makeup trends in the 1950s were characterized by a polished and elegant look that emphasized classic beauty features. Here's an overview of the makeup that women typically wore during this era:


  1. Foundation: Women used foundation to create a smooth, flawless complexion. The foundation was often matte and heavy, providing full coverage to hide imperfections.

  2. Powder: Setting powder was applied to reduce shine and lock the foundation in place. Translucent powders were popular for a natural finish.

  3. Blush: Rosy pink or coral blush was applied to the apples of the cheeks. Blush in the '50s tended to be more prominent, giving a healthy and vibrant flush to the skin.

Eyebrows: Eyebrows were typically well-defined and shaped with an arch. They were often pencilled in or filled using eyebrow powder to create a precise, polished look.


Eyeshadow: Eyeshadow in soft, pastel colors like pale pink, light blue, or soft gray was common. A light, shimmery shadow was applied on the lid, while a slightly darker shade was blended into the crease.

Eyeliner: Eyeliner was used to define the eyes, often in a winged or cat-eye style. Liquid or pencil eyeliner was used to create a sharp, elongated line along the upper lash line.

Mascara: Mascara was applied to both the upper and lower lashes to make the eyes appear more prominent. It was usually black or brown, enhancing the lashes' length and thickness.


Lip Liner: Lip liner was commonly used to define the lips and create a sharp, well-defined outline. It often matched the lipstick shade.

Lipstick: Red lipstick was an iconic choice in the 1950s, with shades ranging from classic red to deeper berry tones. Women aimed for full, well-defined lips. Pink and coral shades were also popular for a softer look.


Beauty Marks: Some women embraced the trend of beauty marks, often applied using makeup or drawn on to create a signature look, reminiscent of iconic stars like Marilyn Monroe.

False Eyelashes: False eyelashes were often used to add extra drama and glamour to the eyes. Long, feathery lashes were in vogue.

The 1950s makeup look emphasized classic, feminine features with a strong focus on well-defined eyebrows, bold red lips, and accentuated eyes. It celebrated the idea of timeless beauty and sophistication, reflecting the fashion and cultural norms of the era.

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