Late 1930s/early 1940s dress: Ebay
1930s/40s hat: Ebay
As a vintage fashion collector and wearer I have one favorite set of years I like to buy my vintage from, but two distinct looks that were popular during those eras.
The years are 1937-1949. One of the looks is bold, dramatic, avant garde and high fashion, the other is that of the sweet, young ingenue.
Today I am playing the part of the ingenue, if you want to see the bold and dramatic, go to my last blog post.
This dress perfectly embodies what I love so much about the sweet youthful look of late 30s and early 40s dresses. I love the sweet, soft colors, the shorter lengths and most of all the puffed shoulders.
While sometimes the bold and dramatic look can be a big overwhelming on someone who is more petite like myself, I can never go wrong with the sweet, ingenue look.
Hat: Paper Moon Vintage, Los Angeles
Dress: My fashion line
Introducing my new favorite hat! This is a 1940s high fashion hat made out of straw with a chartreuse rayon jersey “wimple.”
This style of hat was in vogue at the end of the 1930s and into the early 1940s and was considered avant garde and high fashion.
I paired it with a black crepe dress from my fashion line which has has star and shooting star appliques that are hand sewn.
1940s Dress: Dynamo Vintage, Etsy
1940s Hat: Birthday Life Vintage, Etsy
1950s lucite purse: local antique store
Green 1930s gloves: Papermoon Vintage, Los Angeles
Green 1940 peep toe shoes: Remix
This 1940s dresses is one of my favorite purchases that I have ever made and is a very good example of why I prefer buying vintage over modern clothing. This item was not very expensive, but has the creativity that today usually only present on expensive designer pieces. The stand out detail on this dress is 3D flowers at the neckline. This was done by someone hand cutting the flower shapes on the fabric to create appliques and then hand sewing them on the neckline. I think someone would be hard pressed to find a dress with this sort of detail on a dress today without paying hundred of dollars.
1940s crepe dress with sequin appliques: Etsy
1950s pink gloves: Etsy
1940s platter hat: Esty
1950s Green faux croc bag: Ebay
Green peep toe 1940s style shoes: Remix
When it comes to putting together vintage outfits, I really love to be matchy-matchy. Not all of the colors have to be the same, but I really like to have colors that are very interesting together. The 1940s had some great color combinations that were popular for outfits which today are completely unheard of.
Some of these unique color combinations included: chartreuse (one of my favorite colors) with tones such as brown, orange, blue, shocking pink, purple etc, yellow with purple, red with brown, forest green with yellow, pale blue with brown, etc.
I have a huge fan of color in whatever era, so I have totally got into some of the retro combos that are from the 1940s which you will be seeing more of in upcoming blog entries.
1940s lace/crochet hat: Birthday Life Vintage, Etsy
late 1930s/early 40s Cream and baby blue dress and bolero: Etsy
1940s Butterscotch Bakelite Scimitar pin: Ebay
1940s burnt orange clutch with lucite kisslock closure: Papermoon Vintage
Cream Peep Toe shoes: ” Anita” by Remix Shoes
Lately, as if you might have noticed I am getting really into the late 1930s and 1940s. I really like this time for several reasons. The first one is the clothing is very flattering on my particular body type. Being barely 5’4, the shorter hemlines are great and so is all the details accentuating the smallness of the waist contrasted with with help of the structured shoulders.
I think I have stated before, but my favorite years for fashion lies just around 1938-1945, but I also do love late 40s and earlier 30s, nothing fits me as well as the above years.
1950s Red Taffeta Dress- Ebay
Red hat: 1950s, Ebay
Purse: Prada Promenade Medium in Purple
Shoes: Pigalle Spike Flat, Christian Louboutin
I did today’s particular post to highlight a great way to incorporate vintage into your wardrobe if you don’t want to wear a full on vintage look. Mixing pieces like I did is a great way to get a polished, unique look.
1950s pieces are great for everyday wear, because they are still fairly affordable and more durable then their older counter parts; Then there is also the reason that many dresses today with the fit and flare look still look very much like they are out of the 1950s, I’m talking about pieces by mid range designers such as Kate Spade. Many of her dresses take cues from clothing of the 1950s and 60s, but sometimes the original is better, and far more affordable!
Mid 1940s silk crepe dress: Adele Simpson, Ebay
1940s green hat: Playclothes in Burbank, CA
1950s Lemon and Lime purse: Ebay
With this dress, it was love at first sight. I love the quirky novelty print which is what appears to be lemons which are orange. Apparently back in the 1940s, changing the colors of fruit on prints was the “in” thing. This dress is by designer Adele Simpson who started designing in just after World War One, this dress which is from the mid to late 40s would have probably been from one of her first collections. It is made out of a elegant, soft silk crepe which drapes beautifully. I paired it with a novelty purse from the 1950s (?) which has lemons and limes in their natural colors.
Late 1930s Gaberdine Gown: Etsy
I find that I go through different stages with my vintage clothing. I will really, really like something for a while and then grow tired of it. Recently I gave away and sold a bunch of vintage items from my wardrobe which I just didn’t wear anymore or had lost interest in. Most of these pieces were ones that I bought during a time when medication for my fibro made me gain over 40 lbs. I bought a lot of beautiful items, but back at my body’s natural weight, the clothes no longer fit.
So despite loving the pieces, I decided it was time to give them another home, one with another woman who will truly cherish them.
I had always become interested in different styles since buying those pieces, back then, it had been all about the 1920s-30s, but now I am much more into the late 30s-40s, I am trying to branch out and buy some of the beautiful colors that I love, chartreuse being one of my main loves.
I got this gown from Etsy. It wasn’t expensive and it is a bit of a wounded bird. Because of holes in the hem, I am going to shorten it to day-wear length. I do love, love the original style and will probably recreate the dress at some point down the road.
Dress: Designed by me, Nicolettacarlone.com
1950s gloves: Playclothes, Burbank, CA
1940s Heart and Arrow Pin: Etsy
1940s Toy/Tilt Hat: Ebay
Shoes: Anita, by Remix Los Angeles, CA
One of the looks I have gotten very much into as a designer is color blocking. This is my second color blocked dress, and I decided to do it in classic black and white. This is a great dress for wearing other colored accessories, for today I choose to wear all red accessories. This dress’ lines are inspired by the 1940s, but this dress is classic enough to wear with modern accessories as well.
Dress: Playclothes Vintage, Burbank, CA.
Gloves: Hot Couture, Santa Rosa, CA
Hat: Garb Oh Vintage, Etsy ( one of the most AMAZING hats I have ever owned!)
Shoes: Remix “Anitas” in pale gold
Throughout the decade and a half of collecting vintage, I have always favored one era or another over all the others I collect. It began with the 1920s, a decade which I was devoted to for many years. I then got very into the 1930s, and still am very much in the love with the 1930s, especially the later part (1939-39 are perhaps my favorite years for fashion in the 20th century), but now I have a new love, the 1940s.
And not just any 1940s clothes, but the beautiful bright colors they used in their clothing and accessories, particularly in their novelty prints like the one pictured in the dress I am wearing in the photos.
The only challenge for me when it comes to the 1940s is the clothing design, I love how dramatic it is, but sometimes being a more petite person, it tends to swallow me whole, this is why its harder to find for me, but because I do love it, I work hard to seek it out.