Ten items that inspire your vintage journey - Part Two

11:18 Renée 2 Comments

Here is part two of "What are ten items that inspire your vintage journey?" as my entry for Joanna's fantastic give away. Again, if you haven't yet seen the glorious package she's giving away I advice you to do so quickly!

6. Real-Life Photos

As much as I love (love!) watching movies and glamour shots of beautiful actresses from the 1930s and 1940s, I feel that there is nothing better to look at than actual real life photo's if you want to get a realistic impression of what people actually looked like at a specific point in time. It is a great source of inspiration and information if you are going for your own period-accurate look. Additionally, the pictures are often fun to look at all by them selves. How utterly adorable is the girl in this picture?!

1941, Source

7. Vintage Catalogs

Another great source of inspiration and something I can get lost in for hours are vintage catalogs. I don't just think they're great for fashion inspiration, I also enjoy looking at the fabrics for instance. I don't own any catalogs myself, unfortunately, but luckily they are easy to find on the inter webs. Or at least pages of them. You see lots of them pop up on Pinterest and Flickr. And you can buy books with a compilation of Sears catalogs per decade, or even per third of a decade (early 40s, mid 40s and late 40s). The page below comes from the Sears 1943 Christmas catalog. See the full catalog and others here!

8.  Vintage Buttons & Buckles

Ever since I started sewing I have become addicted to vintage buttons and buckles. They form a source of inspiration all on their own. Sometimes I see a set of buttons and start fantasizing about the dress or other garment that would complement them. For instance, I have this set of pretty, small, forest green buttons and I can envision them being attached to an elegant green button-back blouse made from a delicate fabric. The same goes for vintage buckles. Vintage buttons and buckles are just so unique, you don't see them made like that any more. And I especially like the early plastics they are often made of, they are so interesting to the touch.

Buckles made from Galalith plastics, c. 1930s/1940s - Source

9. Wide-Legged Pants

Being quite a tomboy for a large portion of my teenage years, that part of my personality is still very dominant. I have become more and more 'girly' for the past couple of years, but the tomboy side of me still often rejects wearing dresses. So having pants in my wardrobe next to dresses and skirts is awfully important to satisfy my 'split personality'. Luckily I love pants from the 40's and 30's. They are just girly enough, but not too much. I really enjoy seeing pictures of ladies in the 30s and 40s wearing pants. I have a pattern for the style of c. 1940 pants on the right that I'll be making for next summer. I hope to find a pattern similar to the pants on the left as well.

10. Other Peoples Blogs

Last, but definitely not least, one very important source of inspiration for me are other vintage bloggers. It wasn't until I discovered so many vintage blogs that I realized how many people actually wear vintage clothes. It opened up this whole world to me and convinced me to finally take that step to start building a vintage wardrobe. I feel very inspired by other vintage bloggers and I also feel much more self-assured in my vintage journey. In real life I don't know a single person who shares my passion for vintage (nor sewing) so having an on-line 'community' to fall back on is something I am very grateful for.


  1. Such a wonderful post Renee, thank you very much for sharing your thoughts on vintage. I'm like you, there aren't the people around me who share the joys of vintage that the online community does. It is so nice we have this vintage online community for reference because I believe it does give us the courage to delve deeper into our vintage journey's. I also just love scenes from everyday vintage life. I like to look at the old Kodachrome images that sell on ebay and I also love Pinterest as a source of interest. It is so nice to see everyday vintage folks as I know that looking at vintage fashion magazines can create an idealized world (just as it could today:). I just love the extra care that the women took with their wardrobe and hair.

    1. Yes, basing my vintage look too much on an idealized world is something I'm afraid of. I have always liked to look 'natural' and try hard to find inspiration for simple hairstyles of the 40s, but that seems to be quite difficult! Although I guess there's nothing wrong with making the deliberate choice to portray yourself after the ideal beauty of a certain period.


Please don't hesitate to leave a comment or ask any questions - they are very much appreciated!