Tag Archives: swimsuit

What Katie Did – Reproduction and Vintage-Inspired Lingerie

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Last week I embarked on a quest for nude seamed stockings. I have little patience for wading through lingerie websites, so I solicited Facebook for ideas. When Kate Patsky declared “This is like finding the Holy Grail…” I knew I had a real shopping challenge on my hands; thus, I headed to the Stockings HQ chat forums to ask the experts/fetishists where I could find the Holy Grail. Stockings HQ is a lingerie website based in the UK that also hosts chat forums where people can share stocking info, pictures, and talk about…anyway, they were most helpful during my last hosiery dilemma, finding stockings for a Sally Bowles costume that would be period appropriate and fit my short legs, and they delivered yet again. One of the forum regulars recommended What Katie Did and I’ve been in love ever since.

What Katie Did makes beautiful reproduction and vintage-inspired bras, panties, girdles, corsets, stockings, slips, swimwear, and much more. I loathe most “vintage-inspired” undergarments because they are skimpy and not at all what was actually worn. What Katie Did has gone to the heart of the matter, reproducing things that are such rare finds, like fully fashioned stockings, bullet bras, 1940’s bras (which were just coming into the modern age of the bra), and different kinds of girdles so you can get your Joan Holloway on. If you really want a vintage look, then the next step beyond just the clothes are the foundation garments. Think about how your underwear selections change with what you wear and how that affects your shape and the way the clothes fit, then apply that to your dance dresses. What Katie Did goes further and actually improves the reproduction by eliminating discomfort and taking garments, like that 1940’s bra that probably did little to lift and support, and upgrading them to modern standards. If this sounds dull, like a conversation you’ve had with your grandmother, never fear! There are also plenty of skimpies and pretties on the website for everyone, and I know some burlesque girls who might find some goodies here.

From the website: “Founder and head designer Katie Halford has had a deep and abiding love affair with 1940s and 1950s fashion her entire adult life, but though the clothing was always fairly easy to come by, the appropriate undergarments were not. Her quest for the perfect bullet bra, the most authentic stockings and the firmest foundation garments, led to the development of her own collection, over ten years ago. And since then, thanks to her abiding passion, What Katie Did has been at the very forefront of the vintage revival that’s only recently come into the public eye.

On this website, in our London boutique, and in the glossy pages of our catalogue, retrophiles, vintage queens and lingerie lovers who appreciate the art of a circle-stitched cup, a wasp-waist, or a flash of fully-fashioned seam, can find everything their hearts’ desire.

We create and produce beautifully cut, high-quality and affordable undergarments, corsetry and hosiery inspired by the 1940s and 1950s. Our designs are based on vintage patterns, adapted only slightly for modern figures, using authentic fabrics and even old-fashioned production methods wherever possible. We’re proud of our close-knit team, high standards and enthusiasm for great customer service, all of which which have earned us fans worldwide, and led to What Katie Did being worn by stars as lofty as Claudia Schiffer and Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks. But really, we make our beautiful lingerie for every woman, so she can look and feel like a bombshell, any day of the week.”

I don’t often get excited about underwear, but I am excited to try out some of these gorgeous things. Here’s what I’m loving:

From the Harlow collection - deep suspender belt and bullet bra

Hollywood collection slip

Stretch nylon seamed stockings

French knickers

Glamour girdle and underwire bra - yes, I hate girdles, but I know some of you love Spanx, so here's the real thing

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My Baby Jo

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

My Baby Jo has a little bit of everything to help you embrace your inner pin-up girl, and some essential menswear clothing and accessories for the swing era gent. My Baby Jo has a retail store in Los Angeles, CA, but thankfully they also offer their excellent 1940’s and 1950’s-inspired clothing, shoes, and accessories online.

The website has a great selection of women’s dresses, swimwear, undergarments, hair flowers, jewelry, shoes, handbags, cosmetics and men’s jackets, shirts, pants, shoes, hats, pomade, ties, and vintage watches. The vintage men’s watches are especially good, with watches from the 1920’s through the 1950’s that look like they are in sturdy, wearable condition. Their swimwear selections feature the best of Esther Williams’ swimwear line. The site also offers some fun pieces that may fill gaps in your wardrobe or Halloween costume (like that Rosie the Riveter jumpsuit – where else do you find that?). They also have an extensive selection of men’s hats and hat-care items, including brushes and felt cleaner.

There’s so much goodness here, I’ll try to narrow down my favorites:

Mrs. Moore Day Dress, comes in 5 colors

V-cut Plaid Jacket - lots more of these on the site in different fabrics

Alika dress, also comes in red and in a pencil skirt style

Motorcycle sweater

Marilyn eyelet tie top, also in blue

Leading man two pocket shirt with topstitching

Riveting jumpsuit, also in blue stripes and black

Melton captoe by Johnston & Murphy

How cute is this sailor outfit?

Tailored double pleated trouser - available in 13 different fabrics

So many hair flowers, but the orchids are my favorite

There are tons of hats in traditional colors, but this green fedora was my favorite

Love the face on this 1937 watch

1930’s Men’s Suits on eBay

This post was written by Lindy Shopper.

Usually the vintage suits come one or two at a time on eBay, but here’s a few more than the usual, including three white linen suits!

1930's White Linen Suit, Palm Beach Label

1930's Belted Back White Linen Suit

1930's/1940's Herringbone Stripe Suit

1930's White Linen Suit

Just for kicks - Anchor Swimsuit

Zac Posen for Target

I have been in love with Zac Posen‘s clothing since Natalie Portman wore his Empire Dress to the Star Wars Episode I premiere (Pictured here – I still love this dress!). I have followed his work over the years, but lack a movie star budget, so I have admired his work from afar…until today.

Target‘s GO! Designer series has done an excellent job of bringing edgy, creative, and up-and-coming designers to the masses. In the past I’ve picked up a few things to wear to dances from this clothing line at Target, including a black Anna Sui flapper dress, an off-white Libertine 20’s-inspired slip dress, and a blouse and vest by Alice Temperley.

I went to Target this morning to check out the collection, which was surprisingly not picked over yet. The collection was youthful, colorful, and a bit more luxurious and detailed than some previous GO! collections I have seen. I’ll add that Zac Posen knows how to make a lady look good and, where the fit in previous collections has been sub-par, everything I tried on from this collection had an excellent fit. Here are some of my favorite looks from the collection that have swing dance potential:

This dress is adorable and, unfortunately, was not at my local Target. Check out the twirl of the skirt on the model!

These tuxedo pants were well-tailored. Matching jacket optional.

The model doesn't do this retro-inspired bathing suit justice - add curves to make this gold swimwear a vintage piece.

This dress fit like a dream, but after yesterday's shopping trip to Winston-Salem, it could not come home with me. The photo does not do this dress justice, it is more vibrant in color and has gold threads running throughout. Wear this at the next Swing and Soul and you'll look gorgeous, like one of the Supremes.

This skirt was not at my Target location, but given the flirtiness of skirts present in the collection, I'd say this has definite swing potential.

This tiger print dress flows beautifully and, upon closer inspection, has details that you would normally not see in clothing sold at Target.

Field trip: Putting on the Ritz, Winston-Salem, NC

Run, don’t walk, to Winston-Salem, NC to experience the gorgeous vintage clothing and treasures at Putting on the Ritz. The store owner Hans Hauser has a lifelong passion for vintage clothing and accessories and it shows in every square inch of the house he has converted into a vintage clothing store. Through his vintage consignment sources, friendships with vintage collectors, and his own efforts to retrieve specific pieces from faraway locations, Hans has collected one of the best, if not the best, vintage clothing and accessories collection for sale in the state.

I met Hans about 5 years ago when my friend Sharon Ferris directed me to this treasure trove. I purchased a 1940’s bathing suit that I wore to VBLX that year for the battleship dance. Even though I had not seen him in 5 years, he knew immediately who I was today and pulled out the picture I sent him of me in the bathing suit from behind the countertop. My friend Laura Boyes and I ended up exploring the shop and chatting with Hans for about 3 1/2 hours – excellent company and excellent vintage!

The shop is jam packed full of a mix of vintage, designer consignment, and glitzy clothing. The list of notables is long: straw boaters, men’s 50’s hats, Yves Saint Laurent black satin pumps, a white fur capelet, 50’s prom and day dresses (some with matching jackets), 30’s and 40’s gowns worthy of an MGM movie, flowered 40’s day dresses, a velvet trimmed 40’s suit, wide brim ladies hats, art deco costume jewelry, wedding dresses from the Victorian era through the 50’s, delicious 40’s platforms, bias cut lingerie, and a burnout velvet 20’s dress that came home with me.

If you are interested in any of the clothing items I have posted or would like to know more, please contact Hans Hauser at (336) 659-9944. He is happy to work out arrangements over the phone and he also does layaway.

Putting on the Ritz
304 Harvey Street
Winston-Salem, NC

The shop is open Tuesday through Friday, noon to 6:00 p.m. and on Saturday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

P.S. Pardon my unmade face – I think it’s easier on the clothes if I don’t wear makeup when I try on vintage clothing.

White 40's crepe dress, buttons up the front with scalloped edge around the buttons.

Pink 50's cotton sundress with matching bolero jacket.

Light blue 40's crepe gown shown with wide brim blue straw hat with a velvet ribbon.

Union Jack crepe evening gown that did not actually fit me, so I am holding the zipper on the side. This dress is stunning in person and will look much better on someone else.

This 20's burnout velvet dress is mine!

Navy blue 40's (?) sheer dress with painted on polka dots and matching under-slip.

50's plaid day dress with really cool polka dot detailing where the plaids cross.

Leopard print bathing suit - rawrrrr!

MGM starlet white evening gown with gold trim and cutout triangle in the front. Made for someone tiny.

Brown 40's suede platforms, small size.

Green suede 40's platforms with perforated suede and button detail, small size.

More gorgeous art deco brooches.

Boater hats - gents, sorry there wasn't more for you in the store. The boater on the left with the blue and red ribbon was sized 7 1/8. No size was found in the boater with black ribbon, but I tried on both and the boater with the black ribbon was slightly larger, so I'd say it was about a 7 1/4. Michael Q., here's looking at you to check a boater in one of these sizes off your shopping challenge!

View of some of the men's hats.

View of one of the main rooms in the store.

Adorable sportswear hat of unknown decade. SO CUTE!

Green satin platforms!

Mexican straw luggage.

A view of what I am calling the wedding dress corner.