Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Vintge(-esque) without the search

Everyone loves vintage. It's sweet, it's fun, it seems like it has a story, it's unique. . . the benefits go on and on. Nothing's better than scoring a fabulous vintage dress and having everyone drool over how adorable you look in it. Having great vintage things is lovely. Now, if only finding them were.

Don't get me wrong, the search is often half the fun, but sometimes, you only have to root through so many garments with pit stains and 18-inch waists before you get just a little frustrated. Furthermore, I think I've outlined my stand on a lot of trendy vintage before, and I'm not always thrilled with the way it's sold. Vintage shopping can be thrilling, but it can also be a little tedious to search endlessly for that perfect pin-up girl dress, only to find overpriced thrift-store junk.

Fortunately, I've discovered a few lines recently that make clothes with all the delightful charm of vintage, but none of the wear or outdated sizing. The most exciting, I think, is Stop Staring Clothing (the first two pictures in this entry are their dresses), a line based in Los Angeles that reinterprets classic 40's and 50's looks for women with contemporary bodies (women today are taller, and our waists are usually lower, though mine isn't). The pieces have a distinctly pin-up girl vibe, but they don't look costume-y--I'd happily wear that little strapless polka-dotted number to a party (though if some drunk ass were to spill beer on me in a dress like that, he would immediately encounter my less ladylike side).

I'm not planning on getting one of their dresses any time soon, (I HAVE to start consuming clothes at a slightly slower rate, at least. . . it's getting out of hand) but if I do get one of their pieces in the future, I'd like to accessorize properly, so I searched around for authentic-looking (though hopefully not beat-up, tiny, and narrow) vintage style shoes, and I TOTALLY SCORED. Sorry for the caps. I'm not a big fan of overemphasizing things, but finding Remix Vintage Shoes was truly exhilarating. Their shoes, in every way, from the sturdy construction to the clearly vintage shapes to the saturated colors, look straight out of 1940 (or 50 or 60), but they're in perfect shape, they're not little tiny and narrow, and they're just SO CUTE!

Even though both aforementioned sources of sweet, pin-up-y cuteness are pretty reasonably priced, I, personally, am a college student, and I know there are other people out there who would like to be able to do the whole vintage sweetness look on a budget too. Good news: it can be done. I've assembled a small selection of sweetly vintage-inspired pieces at cheap cheap cheap prices here, with a focus on, you guessed it, sort of pin-up girl style things. You can't go wrong with sweet, sexy, and feminine.

The dress at right is a mere $42 (compared to about $120 for the other dresses, and around $150 for the shoes), and with the sweetheart neckline, hawaiian print, and strapless styling, it's got a definite vintage vibe. It's infinitely accessible, luckily, at Alloy. Also available at Alloy is the pictured halter. I hate to beat a word to death, but it's pin-sized dot pattern is, well, sweet.

Swimwear is a pin-up girl staple, but fortunately, that can be done on the cheap too. The pictured suit is a mere $40 at Delia*s, and the print and the old-fashioned halter styling make it appealingly vintage-y. Y'know, it's embarrassing ('cause I'm not exactly 13 anymore), but I love Delia*s. I just find so much great stuff there.

All of you who know me in real life know that I would never neglect footwear. Now, it's easy to find pin-up girl heels (I actually just got a pair today--they have a round toe and ruffles. I'm very pleased), but flats may be a little harder. Flats are also a little more essential for those of us who spend much of our days running around to classes, or running around anywhere else. Fortunately, I've found a great vintage color and shape at Urban Outfitters. Also, their Pretty Little Ballet comes in tons of great, old-fashioned, jewel-toned colors now. If I could find any justification to buy more shoes right now, I'd probably get all the colors.

Viva la vintage! I will truly always have a love for vintage clothes and vintage shopping. Now, however, all the above purveyors of vintage style without the hassle have a place in my heart, too.


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