There are so many amazing resources these days depending on the look you want to achieve, something that I sadly did not have when I first started putting on red lipstick and curling my hair 17 years ago. Generally, I’m not running to Pinup Girl Clothing terribly often because it doesn’t fit my aesthetic as well as other retailers/designers, but if you’re going for a fun 1950’s style look, definitely check them out because they have a huge variety of styles. I can’t personally speak for quality since I seriously own one dress from there and I wasn’t super impressed with it, but that was the nature of the fabric which was a heavy satin and bit too costume-y for my taste. I do know that a lot of vintage styled ladies do shop there frequently, so I’m going to chalk this up as a rare disappointment that’s hardly the norm.
Tatyana Boutique would be my go-to vintage shop if their selection was a little broader. There was a recent rebranding, so I expect them to expand. Also, they carry the entire Dita Von Teese line, which while pricier I can vouch for as being absolutely amazing in style, quality, and fit. Their house lable tends to run true to size or perhaps a bit smaller.
Stop Staring! Clothing was a recent find & I’m completely in love with so many of their designs, which generally fit my aesthetic better than most shops. I’m much more of a late 1930s & early to mid 1940s kind of girl. So understated designs with beautiful details, smartly tailored suits, dresses that fall a little longer, three quarter length leather gloves, stylish felt hats, fitted trenchcoats. My preferred look is much more film noir femme fatale than bombshell comedienne.
Bernie Dexter has really lovely designs for the 1950’s pinup, and I do own several of her dresses. More summer weather fare, but all really gorgeous. Fun, sometimes outlandish prints, but no one’s doing pin-up to be subtle. The fit is kind of hit or miss though. I have one dress in an XS that’s still too loose, and another in a S that fits but fits like Marilyn Monroe sewed into it.
Wheels & Dollbaby is a higher end designer of kind of late 1950s to early 1960s bombshell styled attire. I own a few dresses and am always pleased with them, but they really only work for very specific cocktail attire. Too revealing for more formal occassions, too dressy for a random night on the town, so yeah. If you’re going to glitzy cocktail party that might be serving champagne like it’s water and all the men want to be Don Draper, this is the store for you.
Also, check out Etsy. I don’t really recommend it for finding true vintage because sellers do tend to mark up their merchandise because of the demand/interest, however they do have vintage reproductions, many of which can be made to order. Also, accessories from places like Luxulite, which are adorable. If you have an instagram account, definitely go follow them so you can see new inventory when it’s listed, their stuff goes super quickly.
I know that a lot of people use ModCloth for ‘vintage’ clothing, but I personally find the aesthetic lacking something. It’s like so many of their dresses have a general vintage look about them, and then one aspect that absolutely ruins it. You can get far better items for less money at other retailers.
So yeah, that’s the general gist of where to find some vintage styled clothing. Let me know if you have any questions. Always happy to help a lady getting into the look.