Shopping Guide: Where to buy 40s / 50s vintage reproduction, retro rockabilly and burlesque clothing
The retro finds on my Christmas wishlist yesterday had Angel asking where else she could find vintage reproduction dresses and retro / rockabilly styles. Longterm readers will know that this is one my favourite subjects, so I'm happy to share some of my finds with you. Under the jump you'll find quite an extensive list of online stores specialising in vintage reproduction pieces and vintage-inspired clothing from the burlesque and Old Hollywood eras. It's split into two lists; first stores based in the UK and then US sites that ship internationally. Happy shopping!
Vivien of Holloway - Beautifully made full-skirted, fitted and sarong dresses (I have two). Sizes are vintage, so go by measurements and expect to be approx 1-2 sizes higher than you usually are. The 'shop' is above a bike garage in North London, and definitely worth a visit to try on.
Pin-Up Parade - Best place I've found in the UK for the famous Stop Staring and Bettie Page Clothing styles. Sizes sell out quickly but the prices are much lower than on other sites importing these US brands.
Zombie Doll Clothing - Made to measure dresses, tops and corsets in rockabilly and retro tattoo prints, available on Etsy. Lisa will even do custom designs, so if you've see a fabric you love, drop her a line.
Get Cutie - a favourite of Camden boutiques, they use a lot of tattoo / rockabilly prints and vintage shapes to create pretty dresses. Not technically vintage repro, but with pin-up girl prints, you'll probably love them if you love the 40s and 50s.
What Katie Did - The place to go for corsets and lingerie, including fully fashioned stockings (with the must-have french or cuban heel). If you want to go the whole hog, the bullet bras and proper girdles are a great alternative to modern shapewear (and much sexier).
Tara Starlet - New website of the London-based designer who recreates retro looks from the 40s and 50s. Particularly good for sailor trousers, cute retro playsuits and little cotton swing dresses.
Miss Katie - Yet more corsets, this time a bit more costumey and over the top. Think blue corsets with big sailor collars and white pinstripe numbers with matching skirts.
Skinny Dip Swimwear - retro-inspired swimwear from the people behind lingerie / hosiery brand Leg Avenue. Includes cherry print halter bikinis, white broiderie anglaise trimmed swim dresses, and plenty of polka dots.
Freddies of Pinewood - The place to go for 40s and 50s women's jeans for only £35 a pair. Best teamed with a cotton halter top, wedges and big shades, of course!
Dolly Dagger - online store with a quirky, rockabilly feel. Sells swing dresses Tara Starlet, and also has a small stock of Stop Staring wiggle dresses as well as swimwear from Skinny Dip Swimwear.
StockingsHQ.com - The biggest range of fully-fashioned stockings made on vintage machinery by brands like Gio and Cervin, as well as plenty of more affordable modern interpretations. Also have their own range of 40s-style suspender belts and matching lingerie.
US stores that ship internationally
Stop Staring Clothing - Probably the best-known producer of vintage-inspired dresses, worn by everyone from Bernie Dexter to Paris Hilton. The online store is currently enjoying a sample sale as of Dec 1st 08, so enjoy those discounts. Be careful when ordering - stretch bengaline can work wonders but you need to choose the right size!
Mode Merr - Loads of great fitted bombshell dresses with matching accessories. Pencil skirts with poodles on, sailor-style prom dresses and all kinds of 'bad girl' skull-face items too.
Daddy O's - A huge range of Stop Staring dresses (probably the biggest online) and men's bowling shirts, as well as plenty of other bits and bobs. Be sure to check out the sale pages.
Pin-Up Girl Clothing - One of my favourites for ogling gorgeous wiggle dresses and flirty fifties styles. Stocks most of the big vintage brands as well as their own 'Pin Up Couture' label. Also the place to go for retro-inspired shoes and swimwear.
Esther Williams - Ignore the (sometimes) terrible photographs, this is the place to get your vintage-inspired swimwear. Williams appeared in countless movies during the golden age of Hollywood, often in fabulous high-waisted bikinis or sexy one-pieces. Now she sells them to the public. I'm definitely investing!
Bettie Page Clothing - DIscovering the flagship store in Las Vegas was like stepping into my dreamworld, so this website is another favourite of mine. Loads of amazing dresses of a very high quality that work brilliantly with curves.
BernieDexter.com - If you visit these shops, you'll know Bernie and she's modelled for just about every vintage reproduction retailer going. Now she has her own store selling some beautiful pieces. I can't guarantee you'll look as amazing as her in them, but it's worth a try, right?!
Babygirl Boutique - One of the biggest boutiques for rockabilly and retro. It's got all the big names, plus lots of accessories that can be hard to find elsewhere. Check out the sunglasses!
My Baby Jo - website of the cute LA boutique selling great vintage styles you won't find elsewhere (look out for the gorgeous garden party dress). Worth a visit just for the 'real girl' models and the customer page full of pics of shoppers wearing their finds.
Please note this list is just for vintage reproduction and vintage-inspired pieces from the 40s / 50s in particular. If you want actual vintage pieces, you need to talk to Isabelle, or check out her list from last year!