Although I don’t dress in a vintage style I do take a lot of inspiration from 1940s and 1950s fashion when it comes to creating a more modern style. I also have a lot of vintage inspiration throughout my home. From antique furniture and photographs of Marilyn Monroe through to the various Gil Elvgren inspired canvas and prints bought from the amazingly talented Fiona Stephenson… there is more vintage style in my home than modern.
I’m more of a casual kind of girl myself as I don’t like to be to high maintenance and if I’m being honest I would rather have an extra 10 minutes in bed than get up and prune. That said, who doesn’t want to walk around looking like Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn or Marilyn Monroe? So for all you lovely ladies who enjoy taking a little extra time to ensure you are perfectly put together before leaving the house, here is the ultimate guide to creating a vintage inspired wardrobe inspired by Marilyn Monroe.
Elbow Length & Puff Sleeve Shirts
While Marilyn Monroe often opted for the elbow length sleeve, puff sleeves were also very popular. In my opinion, puff sleeves tend to look a little more dated and old fashioned so I tend to wear the elbow length sleeve as a personal preference, however, there are some super cute modern puff sleeves shirts available at the minute like this one.
Boat Neck or V-Neck Sweater / Cardigans
Fitted sweaters or cardigans are absolutely perfect when paired with either a pencil skirt or pair of fitted vintage style trousers. It give you an elegant but casual look but you are still able to flaunt those gorgeous curves without showing off a ton of skin. I like the versatility of cardigans and prefer oversized bulky sweaters to lounge in so I tend to go for these super cute fitted cardigans with faux pearl details from Dorothy Perkins.
Day & Evening Dresses (including black, floral print and cap sleeve swing dresses)
I absolutely love swing dresses, they look gorgeous on absolutely everyone because they accentuate your waist and skim over any areas that you may not be happy with like your tummy or hips to give you a gorgeous hour glass figure. Remember that iconic Marilyn Monroe photo of her stood over the grate, well who doesn’t want to look like that (with the skirt down obviously). Vivien of Holloway do some absolutely gorgeous dresses (I own 2), just remember to invest in a petticoat if you want the extra fullness from the circle skirt though. but if you prefer not to go for the rockabilly style and want something a little more modern, you can also try something like this.
Pencil, A-line & Princess Skirts
I absolutely love pencil skirts because they are so versatile. and pretty much go with everything, you can pair them with a pair of ballet flats if you are going for a more casual look, or a pair of heels to glam it up a little. The outfit that I am wearing above is a typical vintage inspired outfit with a more modern influence. It is actually a two piece dress from AMI Clubwear that is extremely comfortable and fits amazing. You can get it here.
Ballet flats & Court Shoes
Ballet flats are one of my go to types of shoes. They are so cute and because of my chronic hip pain I can’t always wear heels if I want to be able to walk the next day. They come in a range of styles but my favourite pair are these lace covered ones. If you prefer to wear heels then to keep the vintage vibe going, opt for something a little more plain like a court shoe. Not liking court shoes, that’s perfectly fine but try to stay away from anything with a platform or excessively high heel for an authentic look.
Lingerie & Accessories
Of course no vintage look would be complete without the iconic seemed stockings so if you are showing off those pins, be sure to have a pair (and an extra pair in your black vintage purse just in case you get a ladder). A well fitted bra is also a must with vintage inspired styles, bad underwear can make or break an outfit, plus, you are guaranteed to feel sexy when you have gorgeous well fitted under garments on. My boobs are very side heavy so with a lot of bras I tend to spill out of the sides but I buy the Elomi Matilda bras and they are absolutely perfect. They also do a great range for other types of boobs, you should check out Fuller Figure, Fuller Bust for more on how to find the perfect lingerie.
Before you go out and buy a load of new items you may want to go through your existing wardrobe to see if you have any basic pieces or staples that you can use. Make a list of the items you don’t have and then slowly build up your capsule wardrobe by shopping for bargains. Charity shops, ebay and clearance sales are a good place to look for the best deals. Feel free to adapt the list to suit your preferences and needs, for instance, if like me you prefer to wear trousers instead of skirts you could add some denim capris, high-waisted jeans / shorts or vintage tailored trousers.
Don’t forget to have fun while putting these outfits together and be sure to either post a photo in the comments or tag me on instagram.
Pin this to read later