Working Girl Fashion - Vintage Edition
One of my best buys this year was this blue 50's dress jacket, bought at A Current Affair, a twice-yearly vintage market in Brooklyn. I've gotten into vintage workwear, because you can get quality tailoring and fabric at decent prices. And I find it so very boring coming to work looking like an Ann Taylor catalog every day.
First, some inspiration
Here are some images of 50's workwear fashion for your inspiration. I would wear any of these looks to work on Monday and look so chic it hurts. (Minus the hat. Although I secretly wish we all still wore hats like these).
I like short knitwear, slim fit and tapered at the waist.
Belted suits and dresses. The suits have to be very fitted, especially in the arms. I take clothes to my tailor to get the arms taken in.
Fitted dresses in fabrics that don't stretch are so elegant.
Where to buy
If you walk into just any vintage shop to find quality clothes for work, you'll be at it for a very long time. So here's a list of stores that curate their selection towards vintage workwear. It's still very time consuming. You've got to love the process and the end result.
Online. I bought my blue dress coat from Wayward Collection, but they also have an etsy store. Here's a list of online sources for vintage:
- Wayward Collection on etsy
- HolliePoint on etsy. Right now they have a beautiful blue garbardine coat for USD$200
- Maeven Vintage on etsy. I like this colorful striped woolen pencil skirt for USD$80
- 1919 Vintage on etsy. I like this black wool coat for USD$80
- Dear Golden on etsy.
Markets. The next Current Affair market is in December 2015 in LA and May 2016 in NYC. It is well curated but this comes at a cost. Most things there are between $100-$1,000.
In London I like Portobello Road (at the Ladbroke Grove end) for vintage clothes. Once, a long, long time ago, I scored a beautiful 60's Harrods coat from there.
Shops. I love Legacy NYC on Thompson Street in Soho, NYC. They have some vintage clothes online, but go to the store - it's fabulous. (The website, not so much)
Buying vintage clothes for work means you'll need a tailor. For instance, the blue dress coat that I bought (in the first picture) was full length and very large. My tailor took the seams in, hemmed it just below the knee and made the sleeves more fitted. If you're in NYC, I use Silhouettes and Profiles.