A to Z of Vintage Inspired Fashion for Women

This post is meant to cover the A to Z of vintage inspired fashion. It's been in the works for a while now . . . yes, more than a while. In fact, it's been on the 'drafting table' for months, but since reeling it out all the way to the 'Zee' of fashion has been a bit of a challenge, I'm throwing it open to all.

But in all honesty, it's time this blog post is published. Who wants to spend months writing just one fashion based post? Vintage inspired or not!

Now, I've Got a Fashion Topic Challenge for You

So, as its getting close to the end of the alphabet and it getting more challenging to find (for example) an object of vintage fashion that begins with the letter X, I have decided to throw open the last few letters to you my readers.

It'll be nice to see what you vintage fashion enthusiasts will come up with!

There are 26 letters less V, W, X, Y, and Z here, twenty-one to be precise. Vests, Y-fronts, and don't count. It's all about women's fashion clothing and accessories, not men's. Sorry guys!

A - Anklets
Though some form of ankle chain has been around for centuries, they only evolved as hot fashion accessories in the western world in the 20th century . . . Anklets

Source: Heavenly Treasures

B - Bustier
Today, the bustier serves mostly as a fashionable outerwear which can be worn over tailored pants, trendy straight leg jeans, skirts, or long evening skirts . . . Bustier

Source: LightinTheBox

C - Clutch Bag
Clutch handbags are the most appropriate fashion accessory for formal occasions . . . evening wear, weddings, nineteenth centuryor dinners. A clutch bag oozes 'chic and style' whenever we use one . . .  Clutch Bag
Source: LightinTheBox

D - Dungarees 
. . . Or if you prefer, jumpsuits; rompers, . . . And they are back, in all shapes and forms. First made around the end of the 19th century, dungarees were at the time, made from sturdy cotton and served more as overalls rather than fashion clothing . . . Dungarees
Source: OASAP

E - Empire Dress 
The Empire dress design is vintage inspired fashion at its best! It's an old but popular classic, a style that evolved around the late 1700’s, influenced by the loose, white tunics type clothing of Greek and Roman women . . . Empire Dress
Vintage Empire Dress

F - Flapper Dresses
Now, who doesn’t remember the flapper dress, or maybe you remember this hot vintage attire as the Charleston dress?  And in case you don’t, it was THE outfit of the swinging 20’s, also known as the roaring twenties . . . Flapper Dresses 
Source: LightInTheBox

G - Gatsby Style
Gatsby inspired fashion can be aptly described as "cool and swanky", an “extravagant look” that's reminiscent of the 1920's vintage fashion and style . . . Gatsby Style

H - Hipsters
The first way you’d recognise a hipster is by the way he/she is dressed, in an almost ironic ‘tongue-in-cheek’ style . . . Hipsters

I - Intimate Wear
There wasn’t much of a variety of intimate lingerie for the nineteenth-century woman. The most important item to the fashionable woman was the all-important constricting corsets made with whalebone or steel . . . Intimate Wear

J - Jewelry
For your ears only! To know the right shape, style and size of earring that best suits your face, you may find the following tips useful . . . Jewelry

Source: Emitations

K - Kimono
Classic Japanese apparel. Most of us know what kimonos are, but if you are in doubt, or maybe you just heard this name for the first time, a kimono is a traditional Japanese outfit with a characteristic T – shape . . . Kimono

L - Lace
They say lace is in, I say lace is back! This fabric can be traced back to the late 1500’s, a time when there was a swift growth in the production of fine hand-made lace . . . Lace

M - Mermaid Dresses 
A nice reminder of the chic and elegant gowns of the mid-19th century, and it's a blast from the past . . . of classic movies where all the beautiful and sexy actresses always wore clothes that highlighted and accentuated their body shape. . . . Mermaid Dresses

N -  Necklaces
Show stopping vintage inspired neck jewelry . . . Today, necklaces are big and bold, common features you’ll find that many fashionable women love, but what makes a necklace a ‘show-stopper’? What makes one neck jewelry stand out against another? . . . Necklaces

O - Overcoats
Trending winter coats. How do you like yours? Winter fashion is stylish, even the best in many people's opinion. Overcoats and other apparel that’s meant to ward off the cold come with the best details, much more than most summer clothing . . . Overcoats

P - Petticoat
Petticoats are elaborate underskirts that have been in existence ever since the late 1500’s. They've been worn by women in one variation or another through the past five centuries . . . Petticoat

Q - Quinceanera Fashion
With claims of its origin dating back to the Aztecs, today’s Quinceanera is a great day of celebrations for the birthday girl. She is fashionably dressed in a formal elegant gown and adorned with beautiful jewelry and a tiara, looking just like a ‘fairy-tale princess’ . . . Quinceanera Fashion

R - Retro Fashion
Post 60'sclothing style. Wearing retro style clothing is even a little more difficult to pull off than vintage styles of the pre-60's era in the sense that many may feel that though the styles were quite conservative by nature - no frills, embellishments like faux pearls, sequins, and the like that was typical of the early to mid-20th century - they were not stylish and chic enough for really special occasions . . . Retro Fashion

S - Suspenders (and Garter Belts)
They were clothing items of necessity; not really meant to be fashionable. Hardly surprising that the first known ‘garter creations’ were simply a band of cloth cut in form of ribbons, or knitted pieces you could tie together . . . Suspenders (and Garter Belts)

T - T-Shirts
Most of the time we spend with clothes on, we are in our casuals . . . shopping at the mall, visiting, hanging out with friends, picking up the kids from school, going to the movies, a picnic, a visit to the beach . . . you get what I mean. These are the times we need our casuals . . .  T-Shirts

U - Underwear 
Have you ever wondered how underwear came to be? Aren’t you a bit curious about what undergarments women wore centuries ago? The history of underwear is quite interesting. From wearing nothing underneath (except a shift garment) to frilly lingerie and thongs, women’s underwear has come a long, long way . . . Underwear 

So there it is. I throw the challenge to you. Can you complete this?

What's the 'Vee to Zee' (V, W, X, Y, and  Z) of women's vintage-inspired fashion? It can be a fashion item, a stylish era, or a vintage fashion trend.

1960s Vintage Style and Fashion

While fashion of the fifties depicted sweeping elegant gowns and couture dresses worn by mature wealthy elitist women, the sixties style was a total deviation from the past.

Fashion was aimed at youthful trendy women with tastes and preferences for simple geometric shapes, shorter lengths, and looser fits, clothing typical of the British pop scene.

Seamstresses and tailors were beginning to lose business to the mass production of apparel manufacturers. It was a new era of fashion-on-the-go and as style began to change, using elegance as a symbol of prestige and elitism was no longer ‘fashionable’.

As life became more casual than it was in the 50’s there was a change which was also reflected in the fashion industry. There was less of the formal elegant styles of the previous decade and more of semi-formal and casuals, many of which was “mixed and matched to stylishly create different looks for different occasions”

Things were still looking bright economic wise though, and the good times that emerged in the 1950’s continued well into the 1960’s. Austerity and rationing became something of the ‘distant’ past, and many people including women became beneficiaries of the pleasant economic boom.

Commercialisation of Fashion

Suddenly, fashion was becoming commercialised. It became embraced not only by the middle class women, but by the lower class to a certain extent, especially in the Europe and the United States.

And because culture became more relaxed, the 60’s style began to feature more of the following:
  • Shift dresses
  • A-line dresses
  • Pill box hats
  • Bell bottoms
  • Mini-skirts and dresses
  • Bikinis
  • Trousers suits
If fashion and style of the fifties inspired individual style signatures, it blew up into enormous proportions in the sixties.

Replicating Vintage Style 

Experience has taught many of us born in the forties (baby boomers) that fashion and style is cyclic. It has always been a situation where “the old becomes the new”, always, albeit with a twist.

So, to be a part of the vintage inspired fashion crowd, it’s good to know how to put together an ensemble that interprets your favourite era, replicating it in the most pleasing and fashion-forward way. This is quite easy with styles of the 60’s.

Five 60’s Look You Can Replicate

It’s fifty plus years after, but you can still reproduce the following looks today, have your own signature, and whip up a buzz in the fashion scene.
  1. The YSL Look
  2. The Emilio Pucci Look
  3. The Biba Look
  4. The Mary Quant Look
  5. The Andre Courrèges Look