Why is it always when I don't have a lot of spare cash that I want to endlessly scroll through Etsy, putting together a fantasy wardrobe of all the things that I wish I was wearing?
When I talked about my New Year's resolutions, I mentioned that I've been increasingly interested in exploring different eras in fashion. Right now, I can't get my mind off of the early part of the century - 10s, 20s, and 30s. Obviously, those are very different silhouettes and styles, but there's something that I really love about those long, slim, graceful silhouettes. It's a little different from the curve-oriented looks of the 50s and early 60s that I usually gravitate towards, and it's more difficult to shop for these less popular styles, but the hunt is half the fun.
I did just buy my first authentic 30s dress recently, and while it needed a lot of love (more work than I've ever put into a dress before I even got to wear it, frankly), it is gorgeous, and I can't wait until I get to wear it out and about (and very, very carefully).
It's really hard to find authentic Edwardian styles. After a century, clothes don't tend to be in very wearable condition, and when they are, they're both very expensive and very tiny. The next best thing - Gunne Sax style dresses from the 70s. Those hippies loved their Victorian, Edwardian, and Renaissance shit, so there are plenty of really gorgeous dresses floating around (ha. Kind of literally.) for prices that are affordable for a working girl like me. Ok, so some people might think you're a hippie bride on the way to her wedding, but you'll know that you're real a neo-Edwardian goddess wafting around like a lily a summer breeze.
If you're not already watching Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, you really should be. Phryne Fisher is a flapper, a socialite, and a lady detective, and she's got a wardrobe to die for. I finished the two seasons that are currently up on Netflix, and I actually went back and started it again from the beginning, just so I could ogle all of those luscious clothes some more. While it's almost as difficult to find wearable 20s styles as it is wearable clothing from the 1910s, a lot of different designers and decades have looked to flappers for inspiration, and there are beautiful, 20s inspired pieces from a multitude of eras. Owning an authentic 20s frock is definitely one of my goas, though.
The more I learn about the 30s, the more fascinating I find it. It's the first decade that we would recognize as modern in terms of style, and despite the background struggles of the Great Depression (or maybe because of them), fashions were fun, glamorous, and whimsical. Clothes also became more universal, simpler, less indicative of a person's social standing. Because 30s clothes are a little more available than clothes from earlier decades, the dresses I'm including below are authentic, not revival styles.
Personally, my butt is too big for me to easily find many 30s styles, but I love them nonetheless, and I am determined to add more to my collection in the future. Some of these are a bit more expensive than I would normally look at, but sometimes it's hard to resist a piece that's really lovely and special.