Fun fact: did you know that the cinched waist and full skirt that we often associate with the 1950s was started by Christian Dior in 1947? Europe was still recovering from World War II and people were used to rationing and making do with very little. Deciding enough was enough, the Paris designer created a scandal when he showed skirts with yards and yards of fabric. Such excess! But women couldn’t get enough of it and even 10 years later (the above photo of a Dior design was taken in 1957) the look was still going strong. …and had trickled down to styles that were more affordable and with a little less fabric.
Maybe we haven’t survived a war but the pandemic has not exactly been easy and the moment we’re allowed outside again, we’ll want to be out on the streets looking more fashionable than ever! What better way to spruce up your wardrobe than with some adorable vintage dresses? We’ve compiled a list of vintage shops and sellers from the popular shopping site Etsy, focusing specifically on the 1950s and early ‘60s to inspire your own “new look”!
Little Ghost Vintage
Based in Portland, Maine, Little Ghost Vintage offers a variety of vintage pieces at extremely affordable prices, and they are always open to buying as well. Although they carry pieces through the 1990s, their collection is heavy on the 1950s and earlier.
Shop Little Ghost Vintage
Created and Collected
Created and Collected features several vintage dresses and skirts, many of them in bright, fun patterns.
If you need some accessories, this Detroit based shop also sells vintage jewelry and handbags. For babies and kids, Created and Collected also has a sister store adorably named WeeLoveVintage. This bubbly but classy yellow rose dress and pink flower necklace are great additions to a springtime vintage look.
The Kissing Tree Vintage
The Kissing Tree Vintage features mainly vintage dresses and skirts, as well as beautiful lace nightgowns and lingerie. Based in Bradenton, Florida, The Kissing Tree is the place to go if you’re someone who gravitates towards solid colors.
This beautiful orange ‘60s silk cocktail dress will make you the life of the party with its swishy skirt and delightfully campy bow!
Dear Deer Vintage
Based in Columbus, Ohio, Dear Deer Vintage sells antique and vintage items from the 1800s all the way through to the 1990s. This shop has all of your classic brightly colored and floral pieces, as well as neutral-toned staple pieces. We love this range!
My favorite was this sweet baby blue dress trimmed with white, such a cute springtime look.
Shop Dear Deer Vintage
Simplicity is Bliss Vintage
It sure can be! This Long Beach, California based shop keeps their focus on the older side of vintage, featuring dresses from the ‘20s to the ‘60s.
They have a special focus on 1950s dresses, from cocktail dresses to vintage wedding dresses. Simplicity is Bliss stands out because of its size inclusivity, categorizing its pieces mainly by size (rather than by color or by clothing type) up to 3XL.
Thriftology 101 features dresses and skirts from a number of eras, as well as tons of vintage accessories and a few vintage T-shirts –even home decor. Something unique about this store is that they also sell vintage patterns, and for great prices.
Take a look at this sheer black 50s dress with lace trim and a flattering sweetheart neckline!
Shop Thriftology 101
Small Earth Vintage
Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Small Earth Vintage has a more casual vibe with their collection of vintage clothes. With plenty of jewelry and accessories in addition to their clothing, there is a lot to choose from.
Although the shop as a whole is generally casual, this beautiful red velvet 50s gown is anything but.
Shop Small Earth Vintage
Heart My Closet
Heart my closet makes vintage-inspired clothing rather than selling actual vintage pieces. While many of these pieces stay true to vintage style, vintage-inspired clothing will often have a modern feel to it. The cut and length of this ‘50s inspired vintage dress is very reminiscent of the 50s, but this color-block style is something that has become popular more recently. The combination of these two worlds can lead to incredible outcomes.
Shop Heart My Closet
Another shop creating vintage-inspired pieces, Zepherra pulls inspiration from fashion icons such as Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, and Jackie Kennedy. For Harry Potter fans out there, they even have a coat inspired by Queenie Goldstein from ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them!’ This Singapore-based shop has so much to choose from, from classic 50s and 60s inspired dresses to pieces with that modern twist. This lovely 50s inspired pencil dress is simple, but adds an Old Hollywood charm to any occasion!
Fancywork Vintage Patterns
Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Fancywork Vintage Patterns features yards and yards of patterns to DIY yourself to vintage heaven! If you sew, look no further. Many of these classic patterns are sorted by era, and give you the creative ability to bring the past into the modern era. Fancywork Vintage even includes a variety of designer patterns, such as Givenchy and Uncut Vogue. These Vogue 6700 Uncut 60s patterns can be mixed and matched to give a pop of yellow to a classic pattern.
Right now 15% off Vogue 6700 Uncut 60s Super Chic Ensemble Jacket, Shell, and Skirt Vintage Sewing Pattern Bust 36 inches
– Grace Potter