“Don’t be afraid to wear what you love and look different” says our latest Vintage Queen, the gorgeous Leslie from New Orleans. We couldn’t agree more. Let yourself be inspired by Leslie’s elegant Forties style!

“My name is Leslie Courreges, I live in New Orleans, and I own a vintage store called Retro Active Vintage.

My love of vintage goes all the way back to junior high. I spent a lot of time with my Great Aunt Betty, who was born in 1929. We used to spend lazy summer afternoons watching old noir films and going through her jewelry box. She always let me try everything on, and I wished I could be one of the femme fatales I saw on the screen.

I started wearing vintage clothes in high school. How I wish I could go back in time to the thrift stores of the mid-Nineties! You could find some really amazing things. Now I get most of my vintage clothes from local New Orleans estates, thrifting, or special buying trips.

While I am mostly a  Forties girl, my style can swing anywhere from the Thirties to the Sixties. I try to wear dresses everyday because they’re easy, elegant, and I always feel so much more put together than if I wore separates. Sometimes I feel I have a different standard of beauty than modern society. I appreciate heels, tailored dresses and red lipstick.

My first style icon was Grace Kelly. I’ve always felt a special kinship with her – she passed away the day I was born and my hair used to be Hitchcock blonde. I really love and adore Barbara Stanwyck as well because she had such a fabulous attitude and portrayed such strong characters on film.

The last year has seen a real whirlwind of change at Retro Active Vintage. I’ve launched our first website and Etsy shop, which I’m constantly building on and improving. I’ve developed a line of fabrics based on some really beautiful vintage prints. And most recently, I’ve started developing a pattern line based on vintage clothing that’s too damaged to sell but too amazing to forget. In the next year, I’m looking forward to bringing more vintage style events to the New Orleans community (such as the annual Stormin’ of the Sazerac at the historic Roosevelt Hotel), designing costumes, and starting a vintage fashion blog.

My advice to others – don’t be afraid of hats! They add so much to an outfit or a hairstyle and can really finish off a look. They’re the number one thing that even people who don vintage seem to fear. I collected hats for years before mustering up the courage to wear them, but I’m so glad I did. They’re lovely and charming and make people smile, so just do it!

Don’t be afraid to wear what you love and look different. People have always been very positive about the way I dress and at the end of the day if it makes you happy, who cares what anyone else thinks!”


One Response

  1. Simona

    That’s a great article. Must say that I love Leslies hair, it is perfect in my book! Hope she launches a blog! I would be a reader!

    XX, Simona