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How To Wear Vintage Dresses: Inspiration and 8 Places to Find ‘Em!

I’ve been reading a few WWII era books this month (Have you read, Bomb? So good! Unbroken was also amazing, but it gave me terrible shark nightmares.), so I already kind of had the 1940s era on the brain when I totally lucked out and found a vintage inspired dress at the thrift store. This, logically, led to a tear filled viewing of The Notebook. I’m a total sucker for vintage dresses in movies and TV shows. From The Great Gatsby to Mad Men, I’ve rounded up all kinds of vintage fashion inspiration as well as 8 online shops where you can find the dress of your vintage dreams.

  • Va Va Voom! 1 of 13
    How to Wear Vintage Dresses: Inspiration and 8 Places to Find 'Em!
  • See the Roaring 20s in The Great Gatsby 2 of 13
    Great Gatsby 1920s

    This movie is a non-stop parade of gorgeous styles on both the men and the women. I'd love to go play around in the wardrobe trailer for this movie for a couple hours!

    See also: Singin' in the Rain

    Images from IMDB

  • Find 20s Inspired Dresses at Mod Cloth 3 of 13
    20s Dresses

    These sparkly, art deco inspired dresses are totally Gatsby worthy. Mod Cloth carries a ton of vintage inspired dresses from every decade!

    Black dress, Mod Cloth, $119

    Mauve dress, Mod Cloth, $119.99

  • Get 30s Inspiration from Amelia 4 of 13
    Amelia

    There are a couple scenes with gorgeous gowns in this movie, but to be honest, I am even more inspired by Amelia Earhart's (played by Hilary Swank) boyish getups, complete with plaid button-downs and timeless aviator jackets.

    See also: Annie

    Image from IMDB

     

  • Get 30s Style from Ruche 5 of 13
    30s Style

    Ruche carries a wide variety of vintage inspired clothing. This charmeuse gown is so ridiculously glamorous! And of course, I had to include a bomber jacket in honor of Amelia.

    Dress, Ruche, $89.50 (on sale)

    Bomber, Ruche, $38.99

  • Fall in Love with the 40s in The Notebook 6 of 13
    Rachel McAdams The Notebook

    I sincerely hope Rachel McAdams realizes how fantastically lucky she was to be in this movie. Not only did she get to spend the whole time making out with Ryan Gosling, she also had the most fantastic hair and wardrobe ever. The dresses! That red bikini! The pin curls! The gloves! There is so much to swoon over in this classic chick flick.

    See also: Pearl Harbor

    Image from IMDB

  • Get Allie’s Style with Stop Staring 7 of 13
    Celebrity Dress from Stop Staring

    This online shop has one of the best names. It's also packed with dresses inspired primarily by the 1940s and 1950s. I'll take one of each, thanks.

    I got mine at a thrift store (high fiving a million angels!) but you can find the same dress at Stop Staring, $170

  • Check out the Sweet 50s Styles of Bye Bye Birdie 8 of 13
    50s Bye Bye Birdie

    This classic musical made Ann-Margret a star AND highlighted the best of 50s fashions.

    See also: Grease

    Image from IMDB

  • Find 50s Style at eShakti 9 of 13
    50s dresses eshakti

    eShakti is my go-to dress site. Everything is customizable — you can add sleeves, change a neck or hemline, etc. So you can create your own custom vintage inspired dress!

    Black cocktail dress, eShakti, $59.95

    Pink shirtdress, eShakti, $69.95

     

  • Steal 60s Style from ALL the Women from Mad Men 10 of 13
    Christina Hendricks Mad Men

    There's something for everyone when it comes to the styles of the Mad Men women. Joan is slinky and seductive, Betty is glam and classic, and Peggy is conservative and cute. Every episode is chock full of vintage eye-candy!

    See also: Across the Universe

    Image from IMDB

  • Get Mad Men Style from Etsy 11 of 13
    Etsy 1960s Dresses

    When it comes to vintage dresses, Etsy is a great place to find the real deal, as well as more recent reproductions.

    Blue dress, Etsy, $42

    Yellow dress, Etsy, $66.09

     

  • Cross Decades with Chuck from Pushing Daisies 12 of 13
    Anna Friel Pushing Daisies

    After two short seasons, I was desperately in love with Ned the Pie Maker (a heart-meltingly sweet Lee Pace), but it's Chuck's (played by Anna Friel) wardrobe that continues to inspire me long after this fantastic show was canceled (I even recreated one of her dresses for Halloween a couple years ago!). There are entire fan sites dedicated to her outfits from the show. If you want to see someone work vintage pieces into a modern wardrobe with total aplomb, Pushing Daisies is a must-watch.

    Image from IMDB

  • Find Vintage Inspired Fashion at Shabby Apple, Bettie Page and Unique Vintage 13 of 13
    Other Vintage Sources

    If none of the above have what you're looking for, also give these shops a try!

    Cream dress, Shabby Apple, $88

    Blue dress, Bettie Page, $160

    And don't forget to check out, Unique Vintage!

Read more of Kayla’s writing at Freckles in April OR catch all her Babble posts by subscribing to her once-weekly email!

You can also find Kayla on Twitter and Facebook!

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