I’m trying not to feel guilty about this… but I’ve ordered a wardrobe. An entire, full-on vintage inspired wardrobe, from top to toes. Undergarments, nylons, dresses, shrugs, cardigans, shoes, accessories–10 days’ worth–to rotate through during my work weeks. In my defense, I’m a stalwart thrift-store shopper and have spent far less on clothing in the last two decades than your average American, and though it feels like I’ve dropped a lot of money at once, $488.00 is not unreasonable for a complete spring wardrobe.
Okay, justifications and making-myself-feel-better aside, I’m really excited and also very nervous. Many of the dresses I purchased were very inexpensive (the cheapest was $11.00) and you usually get what you pay for. But I’m prepared for that. For example, I did read in some reviews that seams were loose and measurements differed slightly than described, but as long as nothing’s too terribly small (I purposefully chose sizes on the larger end), I have a sewing machine and I’m passably decent at using it. I’m also prepared to hand wash and hang dry, in case the materials don’t wear as well, and maybe even learn to use an ironing board again and *gasp* starch.
Another thing that’s got me nervous is that I’ll be switching to dressing publicly, all-the-time, unmistakably vintage. I’m afraid I’ll feel like I’m wearing a costume every day. But this shift shouldn’t come as any surprise to anyone who knows me IRL, co-workers included. I already look pretty vintage, with short, curly hair, cat’s eye glasses and the way I cobble together new and old pieces from thrift stores, tending to stick to classic styles and lines over modern fads.
Maybe no one will really even notice…
I planned my purchases as carefully as a thrifty vintage housewife might have. First, I checked for advice from Secrets of Charm on colors to choose. I tend to wear a lot of neutrals and blacks, and wanted to brighten things up with the promise of warmer weather a few weeks away. (Well, six weeks, if you pay attention to groundhogs.) Plus, like my momma says, “Integrate some COLOR into your wardrobe!”
With my fairish skin, light brown hair and brownish-greenish eyes, here’s what was suggested to me:
I also sort of fit the description of a “brownette,” so I included that list of colors in my decision-making process:
So, I tried to go for not just things I really liked, but colors that also were on this list. Here’s what I came up with:
(That mint green middle one on the bottom should be navy blue. They were sold out when I went back to take a screen shot. Which I actually just realized wasn’t on my color list, so, hmm, we’ll see how it looks.)
After I picked out dresses, I grabbed some items to go underneath everything. Don’t tell anyone, but I’m such a cheapskate, I tend to pick these types of things at the thrift stores, too. I’d rather wash something three times before I wear it or sport a slightly strange-colored, unopened-but-discontinued pair of nylons, than have to spend more money, but it was about time I had some new things.
And then, since I always layer, I picked up some basic sweaters and shrugs to go over everything.
Then came shoes. I know these aren’t period-appropriate, but I could be a 50’s gal that hung on to her favorite styles from the 1940’s and 1930’s, right? Mary Janes just tend to stay on my feet better. (I do have one pair of black, Naturalizer, 1950’s style pumps, so I didn’t get any more black shoes.)
And a couple of bags to match, because I own exactly two purses, both black:
Two watches–both $7.00, but one of them actual vintage and one just a vintage-inspired knock off that I hope will accurately tell time:
Finally, since I’m used to wearing boots every day with my dresses and can’t be traipsing through snow, ice and rain in my new shoes, a pair of ‘galoshes’ and a bag to carry my heels to work in:
I’m off to my last thrift store run for a while at noon, to pick up a few last things–hopefully a spring-weight coat, some coordinating colored belts, maybe some vintage costume clip-on earrings since my ears aren’t pierced–and then I’m done! When my outfits start coming in, I’ll start posting pictures.