Princess Pin Curls: I am often asked “Where do you buy your vintage clothes?” and “How can you afford to wear them on a daily basis?”  The answer is that many of these clothes are actually inexpensive vintage reproductions, which I refer to as ‘’new vintage”. Many highstreet retailers here in Australia stock a wide and varied range of garments that can be adapted and fashioned in a vintage style.

I wear ‘new vintage’ clothes for two reasons. Firstly, to save wear and tear on my real vintage garments, which are often too fragile to be worn to everyday. Secondly, my 34 inch waist limits the variety and quantity of vintage clothes available to me, too many cakes and not enough carrots I’m afraid…but I digress… When searching for ‘new vintage’ there is a whole range of prices and qualities available.

At the budget end of the spectrum there is what I call the cheap and cheerful shops. Brands such as Sunny Girl produce dresses and tops made from stretch fabric with fun prints. With a bit of careful styling these create quite a good Forties-style look. I have bought a great dress with Atomic print and a mustard top with peplum detail (picture above). These are invaluable for days that require lots of physical work (with garment ruining potential), the stretch fabric moves with the body and provides ultimate comfort.

Then we move on to the medium price stores, such as Laura Ashley – which is my personal favourite highstreet store. They do a lovely range of classic full skirted cotton summer dresses in florals, spots and novelty prints (see picture above).

I love their classic beauty and Fifties styling- lots of their dresses even come with their own built-in petticoats. They also range a lovely selection of cardigans which feature anything from floral prints to bunting embroidery and fun applique.  Whether you choose to button them up or toss them over your shoulders these are perfect with skirts or that special retro dress.

Alannah Hill is another shop I favour. They sell highly embellished garments with beading, ruching and sparkle…it is a girly-girls idea of heaven. Most of the range has a vintage look with a somewhat modern twist to them.  This marshmallow pink cardigan with exquisite beadwork and sequinning has a distinctive Fifties sweater girl vibe about it.

They also produce some of the loveliest vintage style millinery flowers available today. Most modern floral accessories are bold and brassy in colour and style. Whereas these have all the style and grace of yesteryear’s flowers… soft colours, a slightly faded, shabby look.

When I was invited to a black tie dinner earlier this year I searched in vain for an original Fifties floral taffeta dress. I had a distinct vision of the dress I wanted. Unfortunately, I found the dream somewhat elusive and started to look around for a new alternative and found this dress in Jigsaw.

I think it is just as beautiful as any original Fifties evening dress. The colours are like faded sunshine, the floral pattern so charming and the golden tulle petticoat is a dream.

This dress is another dress that I bought in Jigsaw. It is made of wool and silk blend fabric, it has a beautifully cut shoulder and front lapel detail that gives it a decidedly Forties feel.
It cost approximately the same as a real vintage Forties dress of the same quality (which I am yet to find in my sizing) but I think it was money well spent. I have invested in several quality dresses from Jigsaw.  I use the term ‘invest’ because, although they were quite pricey, they will last me many seasons.

My advice when searching for ‘new vintage’ on the highstreet is to look for good finishings such as beautiful buttons, quality fabric and flattering cuts.  Many stores have items that can be styled into a vintage look with the right accessories, keep your eyes peeled and your mind open. I find things in the least likely of places, but I have shared a few of the stores that I have the best luck in – yet there are many others out there. Buy what you really love…some may only last a season or two, others will stay with you for life.

Hopefully some will become the vintage of tomorrow.

Princess Pin Curls

Princess Pin Curls is Shauna, who lives in a leafy suburb in Melbourne, Australia. She shares her little home with her two beautiful children, her very own Prince Charming and a fat little doggy named Misty.

Shauna loves all things vintage ; hats, gloves, petticoats,corsets, jewellery, furs, hair accessories, silk flower belts…the list goes on and on. She also love ‘new vintage’- well crafted reproduction pieces.

3 Responses

  1. Debbie

    Yes, thank you. Many people ask me where to shop in Aussie and I struggle to recommend any places without living there : ) Thank you!