Back when I proudly layered Aeropostale polos in complementary pastel colors paired with deliberately destroyed denim, I deluded myself into believing that I was some sort of an authority on fashion, and exercised the power of this self-appointed position upon my all-too trusting mother. With teenaged certainty, I urged her to banish straight legged jeans, oversized sweaters, overalls, and other tried and true pieces from her wardrobe. And then, a few years later, after I had recognized the error of my ways, she saw me donning billowy sleeved peasant blouses, or anything high-waisted, and she’d exclaim, “you made me get rid of mine!”—an offense I will never (and perhaps don’t deserve to) live down. “See, everything comes back,” she’ll say, proud that all along it was she who was the true style guru.
In fact, these have become the garments that I am most drawn to—something that inspires a sense of nostalgia, vintage-feeling vests, dresses with the essence of the past. And I have a shiny and convenient tool at my fingertips that my mother didn’t have during her youth: online shopping. But sorting through worn items for a hidden treasures can lose some of its luster when browsing via Internet, not to mention it’s hard to determine the quality and condition of a used piece without first seeing it in person. Though an angry mob of thrift shopping purists might disagree (although if I’m lucky, they’re too busy sipping their cold brew coffee and debating the value of vinyl), I have come across shops with some great vintage-inspired pieces. While these garments haven’t been around for decades, it’s fun to see modern interpretations of timeless classics. Here are a few of my favorite sites and the items that I’m currently drooling over.
1. Shabby Apple
Browsing through this website is like peeking into snippets of little dreamy period films. The shop is full of romantic skirts and flowy frocks. Shabby Apple is a great place to shop for statement party dresses and blouses with feminine accents.
L-R: Zooey Dress, Cotillion Dress Mint Gingham, Animalia Dress
I absolutely adore Modcloth. The website offers lots of cheeky prints and patterns, fun knick knacks that make amazing quirky, personal gifts, and darling dresses. The site even has a convenient feature that lets you shop by decade so you can flawlessly channel your favorite era.
L-R: Too Much Fun Dress in Airplanes, Brave Heel in Teal, What You’re Mead of Dress
This site oozes 70’s rockstar glamour. Lenni offers everything from edgy dresses in psychedelic prints to cool crops in rich luxe fabrics.
L-R: Damsel Dress-Paisley, The Rise Dress-Militar, Killa Top-Cream
Ruche is overflowing with lovely structured skirts, and crisp collars. The entire site has such a romantic feel, and offers a lot of variety. Naturally, I’m immediately drawn to the dress section which is absolutely adorable, and quite extensive.
L-R: Pebble Lane Colorblock Dress, Pine Bluff Skirt, Prepster Chambray Striped Dress
Centered in downtown LA, this boutique makes limited quantities of each piece, so you’re guaranteed a statement garment. The site offers dreamy bohemian dresses and simple timeless silhouettes. Not to mention, Taylor Swift donned one of the brand’s gorgeous dresses (a dramatic chiffon and lace number) in her recent music video, “Style.”
L-R: Dawn Dress, Piper Dress, Loren Dress
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Thank you for helping me find new ways to branch out from my ModCloth addiction. Just bought something from Dawn – my paycheck does not thank you but I do ;)
OMG YESSS! Their stuff is beautiful, I’m jealous.