1940s Women’s Fashion Ideas For Your Next Vintage Dance

One of my very first blog posts I ever did was for a yearly big band 1940s dance we have in Hamilton (outside of Toronto) called Swing Out To Victory.

Big Band 1940s Dance

My post was about what to wear to a 1940s vintage dance and I showed “vintage images” from magazines, catalogues and patterns for inspiration. None of the images I presented were actually for sale though, so I thought since the dance is right around the corner (Nov 8th-Tickets HERE) that I would supply my readers with ACTUAL pictures of outfits you could own tomorrow if you wanted (unless they get purchased before you can hit buy).

Now obviously if you don’t live in Toronto you won’t be attending this dance BUT you can certainly purchase these outfits for your own 1940s vintage dance where you live. Happy Shopping!


To start off here is what I have worn to last years Swing Out To Victory’s….

2013-I’m helping with the candy toss and wearing my Vintage 1940s Gown I found for $30 in Toronto

1940s Big Band Dance, hamilton warplane musuem

Image Courtesy of Jessica T.


Now here are ideas on what YOU can wear to your next Vintage Dance….right now!

Lets just start with a beautiful 1940s Crepe Beaded Gown. Wearing this at your next dance will 100% get you noticed that is for sure!

1940s Black Crepe Beaded Gown Vintage

For Sale on Etsy-TrueValueVintage

Since you might be dancing you want to make sure that you can move in what you are wearing (see my post on “real life vintage images of swing dancers“) and this dress looks like it would fit the bill while looking immensely stylish.

I love the Peplum Detail!

1940s rayon dress vintage

For Sale on Etsy-shopKLAD

I do adore a good green dress! Especially around the Holiday season and this 1940s Taffeta Cocktail Party Dress with the black accents would fit that bill nicely. How lovely would it look on the dance floor, spinning around?

1940s vintage cocktail dress

For Sale on Etsy: TrueValueVintage

I kind of want the below dress in my life..right now because it would be so fantastic for SOTV. Sadly it won’t fit, so someone else take it home and wear it dancing..Please!

1940s Vintage Crepe Cocktail Dress

For Sale on Etsy: TrueValueVintage

I’m a sucker for a good floor length gown, like this beauty below.

Can’t you just imagine yourself being Ginger Rogers and dancing with Fred Astaire in this dress? I sure can.

1940s vintage floor length gown

For Sale on Etsy: dethrosevintage

Keeping with the “Gowns” theme, this black sequin gown with the swooping skirt is Gorgeous with a capital G!

Vintage 1940s gown

For Sale on Etsy: SmallEarthVintage

If dancing is not your thing and you just want to stand around oozing glorious drama then this stunner needs to be in your closet. Oh la la is all I have to say 🙂

1940s vintage gown

For Sale on Etsy: MinxVTG

Now for a little novelty in our lives. The braided detail is delightful and so different right?

1940s Vintage Novely Dress

For Sale Etsy: alleycatsvintage


Lastly lets not forget about the Shoes Shoes Shoes! Oh so important and if you are looking for a vintage pair there are lots out there. Here are small sampling of some for sale right now.

1940s..ohhhhhh the blue is so pretty and the strap will ensure your shoes don’t go flying off your feet during that song you just love to dance too.

1940s vintage shoes for women

For Sale on Etsy-honeytalkvintage

Peep toe shoes are a vintage 1940s must! and the sensible heal could work for a night out on the town.

1940s vintage shoes for women

For Sale on Etsy: honeytalkvintage

Now here is a good sensible BUT stylish shoe for dancing.

FYI the oxford below has never been worn…score!

1940s vintage black oxford shoe

For Sale on Etsy: diggerodellvintage

1940s Red Wedge Shoes Alert! Now these are shoes for a night of dancing…oh yes they are.

1940s peep toe wedge vintage shoe

For Sale on Etsy: honeytalkvintage


Then you have it my friends. I hope you found something you liked or maybe inspired you to go on the hunt for.

If you do go to a vintage dance, please share some pictures with me! I love seeing how everyone styles their clothes (especially from the 40s, but it can be any era).


P.S. I have news! I will be hosting my very first ever Guest Blogger post AND Contest in a couple of weeks..Yuppers a Contest is coming your way so don’t go away.

Liz 🙂

Frankie 100 Vintage Fashion Show (1920s to 1940s)

I’m BACK from Frankie 100 in NYC! It was one of the best Lindy Hop weekends I have ever experienced and I think I will be basking in the glow of the weekend for quite a long time 🙂

While at Frankie 100 I had the honour of being able to help Stage-Manage AND be in the Vintage Fashion Show.

Frankie 100

It was a really well done show with fashions from the 1920s-1940s and also included were some wonderful reproduction designer outfits. Please enjoy and I’m near the end in the “Savoy” section wearing my 1940s fuchsia vintage gown (see below-Photo Courtesy of Colibri).

Frankie 100 Fashion Show-Photo Courtesy of Colibri

I just LOVE that I look like Ginger Rogers here!


Please click link below to be taken directly to the Fashion Show



Mad Men- The Final Season Is Upon Us

NOOOO!!! I cannot believe that Mad Men the final season is coming up this Sunday! I’m not ready, can’t make me watch it..no no no! I don’t want my favorite vintage ad men and women to be out of my life for forever!!!


Lol! Okay all joking aside, it IS the final season of Mad Men and whether you watched the show or did not watch the show you have to admit that it did contribute a lot to our current culture.  Vintage cocktails are uber popular again, 1950s & 60s clothes are not just seen in second-hand stores anymore and drinking at the work place has become a “can’t we bring that back?” conversation everywhere 🙂

I know one of my favorite thing about the show has been the clothing. Every week I would sit in front of my TV and ohhh and awww with each passing outfit and dream of having the clothing designer of the show land on my lap with every gorgeous dress I saw..in my size! Sadly that will never happen but a girl can dream, right?

Lets check out some of my favorite outfits.

Betty Draper Season 1 1950s dress

This outfit that Betty Draper is wearing in season 1 is something I would wear in a heart beat.

mad men clothing

As you move thru the seasons you pretty much realize that Joan could wear a paper bag to work every day and still look amazing. This simple but gorgeous dress is no exception. The colour is wonderful on her.

Mad Men Betty

I want, I want I want! Betty for the win for the cutest tennis outfit..ever!

madmen season 2

I love blue and both of these dresses are just lovely.

peggy olson dress

Season 2 finally saw Peggy in some nice dresses as opposed to the frumpy ones she wore in season 1.

joan mad men season 2

Yes, Yes..and oh..Yes! I have a skirt like Joan on the right but I don’t look as good as her in it lol!

mad men season 3 fashion

I think I love this outfit because it just screams spring/summer which are my favorite seasons.

mad men season 3 fashion

This is one of my favorite Peggy outfits because it is so me! I could totally see myself wearing this to the office.

mad men fashion

Wow! this dress is just..wow!

mad men fashion peggy

mad men peggy fashion

Another Peggy dress that I would wear over and over again.

mad men season 4 fashion

Each one of these outfits are glorious and wonderful. I love Joan’s brooch on her flowered dress as well.

mad men fashion

As the show moved more into the 1960s I fell a bit out of love with the outfits as the 60’s are not my favorite fashion era. However there were still some great outfits even if I was not oohing and awwing anymore.


Did you have a favorite outfit or two from the show? Will you be watching the final season?

If you live in Toronto you should join myself and the Toronto Vintage Society at the Cadillac Lounge on Sunday evening for our Mad Men party, it will be a blast!

Liz 🙂


Sun Valley-The Vintage Edition

Sun Valley, Idaho

For as long as I can remember I have always wished I could go to “Sun Valley, Idaho”  during the early days of the 1940s and 50s. Skiing down the hill next to Bing Crosby and Gary Cooper (seriously, could you imagine???!!), drinking hot chocolate in my super stylish ski sweater with reindeer or skiers on it and ending my day sleeping in a chic ski cabin. Sigh…how fun! If I actually really think about it I think I fell in love with the whole idea after seeing the 1941 movie “Sun Valley Serenade” with Sonja Henie, which was such a magical and fun movie. Whatever the reasons, we can all agree as Vintage fans that Sun Valley of the past really did look like a vintage lovers dream.

So, as per tradition with my blog, lets look at some fun pictures from this skiers paradise of the past.

First lets start off with Glenn Miller “It Happened in Sun Valley”  to get us in the mood 🙂


Gary Cooper and Claudette Colbert looking so amazing. Love the sweater Mister Cooper

Gary Cooper and Claudette Colbert sun Valley

I love the skaters in the back of the below picture, so very cute

Sun Valley Vintage images

Early 1950s skiers passed out after a good day skiing. This is an outstanding photo! The two girls on the left are my favs for style

Sun Valley

Sun Valley Idaho

As a past skier I do have to say that it is fun to ski when you can wear a t-shirt. Or in this ad..no shirt.

Sun Valley Lodge

Here is another image from 1946 from a  photo series by George Silk of skiers enjoying the warmth of the sun. That swimsuit has two thumbs up from me!

Sun Valley vintage image

I just adore the 1940s looks in the ad below

Vintage Sun Valley

I’m a sucker for an accordion 🙂

Sun Valley

There you have it, Vintage Sun Valley. Dreamy isn’t it?

Lastly I will leave you with a superb number from Sun Valley Serenade with the Nicholas Brothers and Dorothy Dandridge

Liz 🙂

How to dress for an “Electro Swing Party”-Picture Inspiration

This coming Friday I’m attending an Electro Swing party here in Toronto and I also happen to be one of the judges for the “Most Dashing Dolls and Dapper Dudes” contest representing the Toronto Vintage Society. My partner in crime is the lovely Irene from Petite Plus, Meow and we really excited to be helping out and cannot WAIT to see what everyone will be wearing. Don’t forget that the winners get to take home a gift certificate from Damzels, who sells some wonderful vintage inspired clothing.

Electro Swing Toronto

It’s going to a really fun night filled with great music and awesome clothes from the 1920s thru to 1940s. So in preparation for the event (or really ANY Electro Swing Event), I thought I would share some clothing images from 1920s-1940s to help you get inspired!


Women in the 1920s

1920s fashion

T-Strap Shoes


Miss Toronto

Cloche Hat, dark cupid bow lips, bobbed hair. VERY 1920’s here!

Louise Brooks

1920s men

Image courtesy of Reed College Centennial 1911-2011

1920s fashion

1920s fashion



1930 fashion

1930s fashion

1930 womens fashion

1930s fashion

Image courtesy of “Live life in Style


1930s fashion men



1940's suits

1940s women's clothing

1940's womens clothing

saddle shoe ad

hair 1940s

1940's women's clothing pants

Rosie the Riveter

1940s clothing

1940s clothing

1940s clothing

1940s clothing


Now what I have just briefly shown you is only the tip of the iceberg there are so many looks you can wear from the different eras, but these looks should hopefully get you at least started. Happy shopping!

Liz 🙂

1940s/50s House Dresses- Must haves for your vintage collection

I have started to notice a trend in my Etsy “favorites” my eBay watch lists and even my closet, I love 1950s (and 40s) House Dresses. My current collection is small (3 to be exact) but I would love to add more as they are fun and versatile and some of them are downright stylish. For example regarding being versatile, today I’m currently wearing my newest find from Cabaret Vintage with a cardigan, belt, ballet flats and simple jewellery. When I leave work today I’m going to put my hair up, scrap the cardigan, add a brooch to the dress and kitten heels and off I go for my evening out. SEE..Versatile!

Here is the dress. Cute pocket at the top and one at the hip and I just love the sleeve with the pleat in it..too cute! The original tag says it’s a “Berkshire dress” but I have not been able to find any info on this line. If you know anything please let me know, as I’m very curious on its original origins.

1950's housedress

(hehehe like my pink flamingo phone case that made an appearance here? lol)

House Dresses are also great for Swing dancing as the fabric is usually very easy to clean and due to the room they have, they won’t rip or tear like some of my precious vintage dresses could do. The dress below was my first House Dress I purchased (the fabric is coins) and I’m wearing it a Jazz street fest where I was doing a bunch of dancing. No rips to be had 🙂

1950's housedress


Now lets learn a little bit more about the House Dress (because that is one of the fun things about vintage clothing, learning about its history).

History of the House Dress (taken from Wikipedia)

A house dress is a type of simple dress worn informally in the mornings at home for household chores or for quick errands. The term first originated in the late nineteenth century to describe at-home garments designed for maximum practicality and usually made from washable fabrics. It is directly descended from the Mother Hubbard dress.  Such dresses were a necessary part of the housewife’s wardrobe in the early twentieth century and could be widely purchased through mail-order catalogues.

Although an informal garment, the house dress, particularly during the 1950s, was intended to be stylish and feminine as well as serviceable. The concept of attractive house dresses was popularised in the late 1910s by Nell Donnelly Reed, who established her house dress company in 1919. The company, renamed Nelly Don after Reed’s retirement, quickly became one of the most successful American clothing manufacturers of the 20th century. Some designers became known for house dress designs, such as Claire McCardell, whose 1942 ‘popover’ wrap dress was equally wearable as a house dress, a dressing-gown, a beach cover-up or even a party dress. The house dress version of McCardell’s popover came with a matching oven glove.


Here is the “Popover” wrap dress with oven glove. How Stylish and beautiful is this dress?

Clair McCardell Popover dress

Image courtesy of Metropolitan Museum of Art

Sally Kirkland, in All-American: A Sportwear Tradition, reported that McCardell’s “Popover” dress “sold in the thousands (its low price [$6.95] and was classified as a ‘utility garment’.  In utility achieved with ingenuity, McCardell found a synergy. The modern woman could both be chic and do the cooking (Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History).


Now lets explore some wonderful Vintage House Dress Images that just might convince you to put one on and bake a pie tonight 🙂

The Pattern on this is awesome! I would be taking this one home with me if I could squeeze back into my “pre wedding” weight but that is not the case so it gets to go to another happy customer.

1950's house dress

Dress from Etsy from Seller “BackinVogue

The colour and the appliqued flowers are wonderful on this dress and I just love the asymmetrical design.

1950's house dress

Dress from Etsy from Seller “ForeverSexy

This design below is another 1950’s design and it is fantastic AND the best part… you can actually have this recreated by Etsy Seller “Time Machine Vintage“.

Note: She recently did my two piece 1940’s honeymoon outfit and did an outstanding job. So if you love this dress, go and get it made 🙂

1950's house dress

Ohhhhhh….how lovely! I wonder what the “8-Page Etiquette Supplement” said too?

1950's Housedress

Below is a 1940’s House Dress Pattern. As you can see they are much simpler compared to the 1950’s versions but I still think very very pretty.

1940's House Dress

Now THIS is a 1940’s House Dress I would give anything to own! The bows are absolutely delightful!

1940's House Dress

Pattern for sale on Etsy from Seller “Paneenjerez

For more really great House Dress Patterns then jump on over to the blogger “Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing“. She has a wonderful post on House Dresses as well.

Lastly, to close one of my favorite blogs “Miss Turnstiles” did a post on her 1940’s House Dress and it’s a work of art that you really must see. Check it out here.

Happy House Dress shopping!

Liz 🙂

New York City-In all it’s Vintage Splendor

On Thursday I will be heading to NYC for the weekend with my husband for a big German event called the “Steuben Parade” that we happen to be participates in. It’s going to be an amazing experience and I cannot wait and I also cannot wait to go back to one of my favorite cities in the world, NYC. I love this city so very much and every time I set foot in it, I feel like I’m at home.

So while I pack for the city that never sleeps I thought I would share some cool vintage photos I found online of NYC. Enjoy!

1940’s New York

NYC 1941

As a Lindy Hopper I love this picture “Dancing Girls in Harlem 1938”

dancing girls harlem 1938

Penn Station 1940’s. How romantic is this hello or goodbye? I think it’s a Goodbye.

penn station 1940's

Since the weather just may be somewhat nice this weekend, I think I could totally pull this off…if I had the clothes that is:)

Look at the girl on the side with that Snood? Fantastic!

1940's fashion

Ahh the famous stoops of New York. Isn’t she gorgeous??

1940's Fashion

I love everything about this photo

Vintage 1950's Fashion

Famous Cotton Club

Cotton Club

The Famous Savoy Ballroom (I have been to the plaque that now stands where the hall once stood)


Time Square 1938


I adore Art Deco architecture and New York City has plenty of it

Art Deco of New York

Lastly I will leave you with one of my favorite musicals and scenes from that musical “On the Town – New York, New York”.